Thursday, December 18, 2008

Stadium - Any taxes?

What are the tax ramifications of the proposed multi-purpose event venue (MPEV) and baseball stadium?

As a mining operation, the land is clearly taxable as real property. How few acres will be mined?

Will a MPEV and baseball stadium go for tax-exempt status?

At the Deember 16 City Council meeting the attorney for Merryman said the project was "privately funded" and "no tax dollars" would be involved.

Three speakers later, Bill Lee, Frontier League Commissioner, said "with tax dollars involved" and (oops!) quickly followed that with "privately funded".

Anyone else catch that? No one on the City Council did. That night would have been the time to ask questions about that!

The writer of a comment (realisticoptimism) on (12/17/08 1:09PM) quoted Councilman Dick Ahrens as having said, "... I'm just not sure that I want a 120 acres of what could potentially be a strong commercial or industrial corridor in Woodstock taken up with a nonprofit organization, something that doesn't have the ability to generate potentially high-paying jobs [or] strong property taxes to contribute to our tax base."

As for the jobs that will be created, if they are construction jobs, will McHenry County laborers be employed? Or will Chicago-area or even out-of-state construction workers build it? And the jobs at the MPEV? We're talking most minimum-wage jobs. How much skill does it take to hold an electronic ticket-counter or serve hot dogs?

The City Council sniffed around the edge of a ticket tax. You can count on this one. The mayor said, cleverly, that the City wouldn't aim a ticket tax just at the baseball stadium. You have to read between the lines here.

No, the City will tax all sales of tickets for any professional or semi-professional baseball games played within the corporate limits of City of Woodstock. Is that broad enough for you?

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