Governor Nixon Thinks You Want to Fund a New Football Stadium!

Uses deceptive language indicating it will not cost taxpayers more! 

 

Governor Nixon appointed two individuals to come up with a proposal to keep the St Louis Rams in St Louis.  The action itself is not a bad thing. Keeping an NFL team in St Louis is a worthy objective. Where the wheels come off is when the proposal puts the taxpayers on the hook for $300-400 million plus!

The plan the Governor’s appointees came back with is a $985 million plan to build a 64,000 seat stadium and renovate blighted north St Louis City.  I like parts of the plan. It would be great to have the new stadium and the area in question back in action.

What I don’t like is that the Governor and his appointees want you and me to be major investors in the project – without asking us.  They also engage in a very deceptive statement of trying to convince the media and us that it will not cost taxpayers more than we are paying now.

The proposal would extend the current bonds on the Edward Jones Dome which will currently be paid off in 2021. The current payment is $24 million per year with the state taxpayers making $12 million per year of the payments and St Louis City and County taxpayers making $6 million each per year payments.  In essence, the St Louis City and County taxpayers are being double dipped!

CLICK HERE to let your Representative, Senator and Governor know you don’t want more taxpayer funding for stadiums!

Here’s the background on the current bonds:

  • 1991 – state issues $133 million in bonds as state share of dome
  • State’s payment is $12 million general revenue
    • $10 million debt service
    • $2 million for maintenance
  • City of St Louis and St Louis County EACH pay $6 million per year
    • $5 million debt service (each)
    • $1 million for maintenance (each)
  • Payments conclude in 2022 for debt
  • Payments conclude in 2024 for maintenance
  • State taxpayers have paid $264 million paid so far (22 years)

CLICK HERE to let your Representative, Senator and Governor know you don’t want more taxpayer funding for stadiums!

The Governor supports a plan that will keep state taxpayers paying $12 million per year (St Louis City and County taxpayers paying double) way beyond the current bond pay-off date and taking on at least $300 million more in debt and somehow that doesn’t cost the taxpayers more? Most Missourians will not see that as a good deal.  And they shouldn’t.

CLICK HERE to let your Representative, Senator and Governor know you don’t want more taxpayer funding for stadiums!

It’s long been known that public funded stadiums do not pay their way. Dave Nicklaus hits the nail on the head in his observations about this proposal.

Dave Peacock, the former Anheuser-Busch president who presented St. Louis’ stadium plan Friday, tried to emphasize that the purse is not being opened very wide. He said Missourians won’t pay any more in taxes to finance the new building. 

That may be true, but Peacock’s plan calls for raising at least $300 million by refinancing the bonds on the Edward Jones Dome. Stretching out the bond payments, probably for 30 years, represents a real commitment of public resources. Even if tax rates don’t rise, those bonds represent resources that can’t be used for other needs, such as roads or schools.

The financing plan, which calls for about half the stadium’s cost to come from public sources, is similar to the deal the Vikings are getting in Minnesota.

Their new stadium in Minneapolis is scheduled to open in 2016, with taxpayers bearing about half the $975 million cost.

New stadiums in Dallas, New Jersey and the San Francisco area involved smaller subsidies, but those teams’ owners didn’t have Kroenke’s sense of wanderlust.

St. Louis is being asked to pay dearly for the prestige of remaining an NFL city, so I think Peacock described his stadium plan accurately when he called it a “crown jewel.” A jewel can sparkle and make its owner feel good, but it’s hardly a productive use of half a billion dollars.

CLICK HERE to let your Representative, Senator and Governor know you don’t want more taxpayer funding for stadiums!

 

The good news is that the legislature has to approve any extension of the bonds.  That’s our opportunity to stop this madness! CLICK HERE to let your Representative, Senator and Governor know you don’t want more taxpayer funding for stadiums!

Let your legislators and Governor know that this is an unacceptable use of our tax dollars!

Like what United for Missouri’s Future and United for Missouri are doing? Invest in our work by clicking here. We’re supported by our more than 76,000 citizen-activists statewide. Your contribution in any amount will go a long way toward promoting free-market policies at all levels of government – local, state and federal. Thanks!

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Carl Bearden
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12 Responses to “Governor Nixon Thinks You Want to Fund a New Football Stadium!”

  1. Chris Blattel says:

    MO taxdollars should not be used to benefit a for profit business, namely the owners of the St. Louis Rams football team. If they want a new stadium they should fund it themselves using revenue from ticket sales, concessions, and licensing merchandise.

  2. Scott Tubbesing says:

    Couldn’t care less if St Louis has a football team or stadium.

  3. No way stl wants our money to fund a stadium they should have thought about the jobs lost in southeast mo at NORANDA ALUMINUM because a very small tax increase to of set utilities in general summary, I nixon needs funding go get it from his workmens compensation folks since ee rank so low in taking care of your workers there’s plenty of money there also.

  4. Teresa Stevens says:

    No way should our tax dollars be used to fund a stadium for a football team. If they want a stadium let them figure a way without putting a further burden on tax payers. You can say all day long it won’t cost us anymore but it will and Nixon you know it will. If they can’t afford to build their own stadium them let them go! Who cares about a football stadium when your trying to pay the electric bill?

  5. Jan Robinson says:

    No new stadium!

  6. Concerned citizen says:

    Um… The State/City paying $24 million a year is chump change when you consider the economic impact an NFL team has on the city (estimated at $100 million per home game) and the state income taxes these millionaire players, coaches, and staff pays to the state of Missouri each year.

    It would actually hurt Missouri to lose the income revenues from their income taxes.

  7. Karen Tate says:

    No more stadiums…still paying on the “Dome”. The NFL makes billions in profits yearly. They can build their own. After all how many times are football games played in the current stadium. Not enough to pay any bills.

    Stop pretending taxpayers will not pay. Enough already.

  8. Greg Zotta says:

    They try to sell this as no tax increase, but fail to mention it is a tax extension, which means it IS a tax increase. let the billionaires pay for their own playground.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Leave it to the good citizens of St. Louis to, once again, think small. I read the majority of the comments here and don’t have to wonder long why, over the last hundred years, St. Louis has become an also-ran American city. Big city amenities cost big city money. Minneapolis, San Francisco, and Atlanta all made this commitment recently (Atlanta, like STL, replacing a stadium that is about 20 years old). So, the question is, who are we? Atlanta, Minneapolis, and San Francisco? Or, do we become Louisville, because a bunch of tight old lifelong STL citizens wouldn’t approve the use of tax payer money to save their grandchildren? If St. Louis wants to be viable in the 21st century, it may want to consider not being a two time NFL loser. That tax money you’re white-knuckling shrinks even more when no one wants to come to your city for conventions, tourism, or simply to live because it proves itself to be a bore. This stuff doesn’t happen in Chicago. It’s a shame it does in St. Louis. Think big, St. Louis. It’s been 100 years already.

    • Carl Bearden says:

      It’s not a matter of St Louis — it’s saddling state taxpayers with the biggest bulk of the bill. Replacing a 20 year old stadium is not the make or break for St Louis and it certainly not good for the taxpayers present or future. Thinking small is kowotowing to the NFL and Kroenke to build something on the taxpayer dime that will never bring the return back to the taxpayer and will be “outdated” 20 years from now and subject to blackmail again.

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