Ohio Taxpayers May Fork Over More Corporate Welfare for Soccer Stadium

 

Taxpayers in Ohio will now reportedly pay at least $140 million in corporate welfare for a new Major League Soccer stadium in Columbus.

This, according to the website Bloombergtax.com, which reported politicians have approved development incentives $25 million higher than initially proposed.

“The Franklin County Board of Commissioners July 2 approved a resolution giving $45 million in ‘net present value’ taxpayer support for the Columbus Crew SC owners’ development of a mixed-use stadium project and revamped community sports park. The money will be disbursed in ‘annual economic development payments’ of $2.5 million for $30 years – a total of $75 million,” Bloombergtax.com reported.

“That vote followed a July 1 Columbus City Council vote approving $50 million in infrastructure improvements to support the team’s developments. Additionally, the team’s ownership will receive $20 million from Ohio taxpayers and up to $25 million in a tax increment financing bond issuance under a development agreement.”

The website went on to say that “at $140 million of public money, Ohio residents stand to provide potentially far less support than other proposals. For example, an Indiana law passed this spring allows a team to keep up to $304 million in local and state taxes generated at a proposed $550 million pro soccer stadium in Indianapolis. That Indiana law also provides up to $800 million for the Indiana Pacers.”

“However, cities that play hard to get don’t necessarily lose out on pro teams anxious to take advantage of big media markets. Austin, Texas, is providing little to no taxpayer support to land an MLS team and build a stadium on public land with private funding.”

The Tennessee Star reported a similar proposal in Nashville.

As reported last year, if members of the Nashville Metro Council wanted to save taxpayers some money they would have arranged for the city’s Major League Soccer team to play in that city’s already-existing Nissan Stadium.

This, instead, of building a pricey new stadium. Nissan Stadium, of course, is where the Tennessee Titans play for the National Football League.

Eric Boehm published a column for Reason where he made his case.

“Taxpayers are already on the hook for $300 million in upgrades to Nissan Stadium, home of the National Football League’s Tennessee Titans. That stadium is within walking distance of downtown and could easily be adapted to host soccer games,” Boehm wrote.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to chrisbutlerjournalist@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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