Proposal in 2016 Obama budget could end taxpayer-subsidized stadiums

Monday March 16th, 2015

An item in President Barack Obama's 2016 budget proposal looks to end taxpayer-subsidized funding of sports stadiums, according to USA Today. 

The item, which seeks to "repeal tax-exempt bond financing of professional sports facilities," would the end construction of new stadiums being funded by taxpayer-financed, tax-free bonds.

The St. Louis Rams are currently looking for public subsidies to fund a new stadium and have looked at alternative options, including leaving the St. Louis area for Los Angeles. 

From USA Today:

In Wisconsin, Republican Gov. Scott Walker in January proposed funding a $470 million arena for the [Milwaukee] Bucks with the help of $220 million in state bonds as part of his budget plan.

Walker said that without a new arena, the Bucks would "likely leave Wisconsin in 2017, costing the state nearly $10 million per year in income tax collections alone."

A 2012 Bloomberg analysis found that 21 NFL teams play in stadiums that were built or renovated using tax-free public borrowing in the past 25 years.

- Molly Geary


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