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THE BALLPARK AT ARLINGTON UNDERGOING TAX REVIEW
Published October 24, 1994
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).