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.

Click here to let the Governor and your legislators know you oppose public funding of a new stadium!

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!

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