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Missouri legislator wants to challenge publicly-funded ‘political arenas


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#1 kcchief4lif

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 01:24 PM

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -  A Missouri legislator is asking for a review of all taxpayer funds used to build and maintain NFL stadiums and facilities.

“NFL stadiums have been a major investment of taxpayer money and the league must remain popular to continue to have a positive impact on our local and state economy,” said Missouri Representative Nate Walker said in a press release on Monday.

According a 41 Action News report from 2013, Kansas City was ranked 10th the country for the amount of taxpayers coughing up funds to keep the stadiums in top condition. 

A Wall Street Journal study says between Kauffman Stadium, Arrowhead Stadium and Sprint Center, Kansas City is among the most expensive cities in the U.S. for taxpayers to keep their sports teams in town.

According to the same study, by 2010, Kansas City had spent more than $700 million in public funds on renovating Arrowhead and Kauffman stadiums.

The Republican legislator plans to ask the legislature to form a joint committee to review all NFL stadium funding and determine what options are available to protect taxpayers.

According to a press release, this includes modifying existing agreements and contracts, suing the NFL, or banning future taxpayer funding of stadiums.

“The First Amendment protects players’ rights to protest off the field. But when Missouri first conceived the idea of publicly funding these stadiums, nobody thought the league would put political protest ahead of good business and civic responsibility,” he said. “Taxpayers invested in a football arena that has now become a political arena. The NFL could have stopped these protests but chose to indulge its billionaire franchise owners and millionaire players to use public facilities to launch their political agendas. Where will it stop, what will be their next agenda item, and what will it cost taxpayers? This must end."

Walker plans to meet with national organizations, like the National Conference of State Legislatures and the American Legislative Exchange Council to create a network of legislators in every state with publicly-funded NFL stadiums.

“The NFL is big business,” said Walker. “Previous governors and legislators in Missouri have invested millions of taxpayer dollars into NFL facilities for economic development and entertainment purposes. Recent protests are impacting viewership, hurting the fan base of the NFL, and putting at risk all of our public investments.”

http://www.kshb.com/...olitical-arenas

 

 



#2 oldtimer

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 01:53 PM

it'll go no where.I like how the amount  thrown in from The Hunt Family & the Royals Owners group was not supplied..article was incomplete at best. IIRC the tax contributions were voted on by  the Tax payers..unfortunately IIRC its just the Jackson County tax payers. 

 

 I am having a hard time grasping what he's trying to realistically accomplish.. 



#3 kcchief4lif

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 02:45 PM

it'll go no where.I like how the amount  thrown in from The Hunt Family & the Royals Owners group was not supplied..article was incomplete at best. IIRC the tax contributions were voted on by  the Tax payers..unfortunately IIRC its just the Jackson County tax payers. 

 

 I am having a hard time grasping what he's trying to realistically accomplish.. 

 

Good question.  And I forgot the Jackson county part of the equation. 

 

What I find interesting is when I worked for a state agency we had to sign a disclosure stating we would not partake in any political advertising be it bumper stickers on your car for a candidate or proposition.   Basically anything of the likes on state property.

 

Personally, I wouldn't do it anyway based on how polarizing the stuff has become.



#4 moons314

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 02:45 PM

it'll go no where.I like how the amount  thrown in from The Hunt Family & the Royals Owners group was not supplied..article was incomplete at best. IIRC the tax contributions were voted on by  the Tax payers..unfortunately IIRC its just the Jackson County tax payers. 

 

 I am having a hard time grasping what he's trying to realistically accomplish.. 

I agree, but really he is right.  This goes back to my stance that your first amendment rights don't exist in the workplace.  It will probably go nowhere as you said, but it does put the NFL on notice that if they don't reign in their political BS, there's going to be pushback.  



#5 oldtimer

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 03:39 PM

I agree, but really he is right.  This goes back to my stance that your first amendment rights don't exist in the workplace.  It will probably go nowhere as you said, but it does put the NFL on notice that if they don't reign in their political BS, there's going to be pushback.  

 

 

totally agree except that I believe the NFL is already on notice and I'm sure  that there are other types of resolutions in cities that have a high % of tax revenue involved .. so this really just reinforces that notion and maybe thats what it was meant to. Hard to believe that this Bill had to rely on 2010 figures..pretty antiquated data



#6 moons314

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 04:00 PM

I'd expect to hear some news from the league office before too long, something to the effect of "political protest will not be allowed while in uniform or at league events".  I think Jerry Jones fired the first shot there.  The league has largely ignored the players up to this point, but when you start threatening their money, the owners are going to take notice.  Slipping TV ratings and a lot of negative press has surely alarmed ownership.  Someone needs to step in and tell these idiots that you have no first amendment rights in the workplace, just as you have no second amendment rights in the workplace, and can't bring your sidearm to work.  Employment is voluntary, so these "rights" that these people try to exploit aren't actually rights.  When you represent the business, you leave the politics at home. 


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#7 oldtimer

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 09:40 PM

https://www.wsj.com/...660681?mod=e2fb

 

Trump Puts Spotlight on Sports Tax Breaks Tweet attacking NFL comes amid scrutiny of financing for sports stadiums
 
 
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A game between the Atlanta Falcons and Buffalo Bills at Atlanta’s new Mercedes-Benz Stadium earlier this month. PHOTO: SCOTT CUNNINGHAM/GETTY IMAGES
By 
Richard Rubin
Updated Oct. 10, 2017 3:53 p.m. ET
 

WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump’s attacks on protests by some National Football League players shifted to tax policy on Tuesday, as the president floated the possibility of pushing to change laws that benefit the league.

“Why is the NFL getting massive tax breaks while at the same time disrespecting our Anthem, Flag and Country?” the president asked on Twitter.

The comments marked his latest criticism of the league after some players have knelt rather than stood during the playing of the national anthem in recent weeks. The movement began more than a year ago to protest police actions toward African-Americans. Mr. Trump reignited the issue in a speech last month.

Mr. Trump didn’t say exactly what he had in mind on taxes. Still, the comments shine a light on two tax advantages the NFL historically enjoyed: the claiming of nonprofit status, which the league renounced two years ago, and the issuance by cities and states of tax-free bonds to pay for new publicly financed stadiums to host NFL teams, which continues.

“While the NFL may have given up its tax exempt status a few years ago, it’s been well documented that billions of taxpayer dollars continue to subsidize the construction and renovation of professional sports stadiums,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Tuesday. “If this industry is going to use money from American taxpayers to build the very fields they play on, is it really too much to ask that they show respect for the American flag at the beginning of the game?”

Some of the protesting players have said they are trying to call attention to broader inequality, not disrespecting the flag or the anthem.

Many stadium tax subsidies happen on the state and local level, but some rely on the ability to issue municipal bonds that generate income that is exempt from federal taxes.

Ending the tax break for pro-sports stadiums has support in Congress. Rep. Steve Russell (R., Okla.) and Sen. Cory Booker (D., N.J.) are the primary sponsors of a have proposals to prevent sports leagues from claiming tax-exempt status.

For the NFL, there would be no impact from the bill. The NFL’s teams pay taxes on their profits, as well as on player salaries and merchandise sales. The NFL central office, which coordinates and manages the league’s affairs, for years claimed tax-exempt status, meaning it didn’t pay taxes on its income. But amid criticism of the practice, the league renounced the status in 2015, calling it a “distraction.”

“The NFL gave up its tax-exempt status in 2015,” said NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart on Tuesday. “The idea that we receive a tax break is not true.”

The league said on Tuesday that its owners would discuss at meetings next week whether to unilaterally change league policy to require players to stand during the national anthem.

In reaction, the White House’s Ms. Sanders said: “We would certainly support the NFL coming out and asking players to stand, just as the president has done.” She added: “We’re glad to see the NFL taking positive steps in that direction.”

A 2014 estimate by the Joint Committee on Taxation found that removing the status for sports leagues that claimed the tax break would raise about $100 million in taxes over a decade.

It isn’t clear yet whether GOP lawmakers would include the sports-team-related changes in the tax-code overhaul they are writing this year, but they will be looking for every dollar they can find to lower tax rates.



#8 jetlord

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 11:03 PM

Why are taxpayers held hostage to paying for private business venues?  As twenty year Chiefs season ticket holders, we certainly benefit from the taxes used to provide a place to watch the games, but what about those who couldn't care less about football or any other spectator sport?  People in Missouri got ripped off big time to attract the Rams to STL, build an ugly indoor arena downtown, and luxurious practice facilities.  What did they get in return?  I don't like paying taxes to support art I don't understand or for ballets I never attend so what's different about sports teams.  We've all heard the arguments about how teams attract outside fans to come stimulate the local economy, but who really benefits?  The hotel, restaurant, and bar owners do well on game weekends, but the public gains nothing.  Let the teams pay for their own stadiums and let the attending fans pay them back through ticket sales.  JMHO






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