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THE BALLPARK AT ARLINGTON UNDERGOING TAX REVIEW

     The TX Comptroller's office is reviewing whether contractors
for The Ballpark at Arlington owe sales taxes on construction
materials used to build the stadium.  The tax, which would have
to be paid by the Arlington Sports Facilities Development
Authority and could amount to "several million dollars," is in
question because of a conflict between two pieces of legislation
on the tax-exempt status."  TX tax law does not allow tax
exemptions when a government entity, in this case the "quasi-
public" sports authority, leases or sells a project to private
interests such as the Rangers.  But a law passed in '91 "may have
overridden the language in the tax code," according to Greg
Hartman, a spokesperson for Comptroller John Sharp (Wayne Slater,
DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 10/21).  The '91 amendment was "passed
specifically for" the Ballpark project but does not "specifically
address" a sales tax.  The sports authority says it does not have
the money to pay the taxes if the comptroller decides they are
necessary.  The law does not allow the sports authority's debt to
exceed the $135M taxpayer contribution.  The Rangers must pay
"any obligations beyond" this amount (Ken Dilanian, FORT WORTH
STAR TELEGRAM, 10/21).  The tax has become an issue in the
Governor's race between Rangers Partner George W. Bush and Ann
Richards (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 10/22).
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Related Topics:

Facilities, The Sports Authority

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