So Todd Portune has decided to start acquiring signatures to put a new tax on the next ballot. To simplify, this would be a use tax for patrons of the Bengals and the Reds. According to some figures this would end up adding an additional cost of 44 cents to every Reds ticket purchased and an additional 14 dollars to every Bengals ticket. This is to account for the cities shortfall in budget and not being able to pay for the maintenance of the stadiums that they agreed to.
Interesting idea, that on the surface sounds like good business. However, I think this is another ploy by the county to paint the sports teams in a bad light to detract from the fact the county is terrible at handling their money and has very little foresight when it comes to the budget. The voters and county leaders agreed to fund the stadiums in this manner. What has changed since the vote that would drain the money or change the financial outlook so drastically that if unchanged there will be a 600 million dollar deficit in the future? By blaming Mike Brown and the Bengals, the county hopes to swing public favor to their side and pass some new poorly crafted solution to a problem that they created.
What you need to understand is that there are many other ways that the City has missed on revenue. For example, do you know why there are so many movies being filmed around Cincinnati these days? The City grants these productions huge tax breaks in order to film here. Same with big business, the city allows these huge businesses (P&G, 5/3 etc…) tax breaks to stay in the city. If the situation is really that dire, how about asking all businesses to pony up and not just the sports teams.
I would argue that the sports teams do more for the local economy then the streetcars will ever do and yet we still try and pump money into those.
It is a tough point to argue, there are too many people with the mindset of the WhoDeyRevolutionaries who hear anything Bengals and instantly jump to the worst conclusion. My favorite is when they call the people that go to the games “Sheep” but then blindly follow the rest of the WDR cult and form baseless opinions not on fact but on emotion. Take a look at some of these comments from Cincinnati.com for example:
“The one thing Mike Brown has been avoiding for years…letting voters get involved. The people he has swindled and shook down for years are finally going to get a stab at the old Brown wallet! If/when this happens, I’m predicting the biggest landslide victory in the history of voting!”
“If I remember correctly, we weren’t given a whole lot of information before hand and most of us just walked blindly into the voting booths and voted yes. Then when all of the details finally came out and we realized we got stuck with the short end of the stick, they tried to tell us we were going to get reimbursed with a credit from taxed profits. And then it came out that THAT wasn’t necessarily the case either so we were still screwed. All that on top of the fact that Mike Brown, inarguably the worst owner and possibly the best business man in sports history, cannot field more than 2 winning teams in over 2 decades! W. T. F. !!!!”
Yes my friends, these people are voters. How exactly has Mike Brown swindled you? How do you think an issue was on the ballot with no information? Why in the hell would you vote for that?
Look, the county is finding a common enemy to take the heat off of their terrible spending. Someone is going to have to pay to make up the difference and I can tell you 100% it will not be Mike Brown. He may pay some, more than the WDR cult would allow you to believe even, but not all. Rather than blame him for the mess, why not look at the real issues.