SBD/30/Facilities Venues

ST. LOUIS FANS LIVING THE LIFE OF LUXURY -- WILL TEAMS PAY?

          The Rams, Blues and MLB Cardinals are "opposing an
     effort" by St. Louis License Collector Thomas Nash to apply
     the city's 5% amusement tax to the full price of luxury
     suites and other exclusive seats at their games, according
     to Mark Schlinkmann of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH.  The
     teams have been paying the tax "only on a portion" of what
     they charge companies and individual fans for those seats --
     the portion "they say admits fans to the game itself."  The
     teams "contend that the tax shouldn't apply to other parts
     of the charges because those go for special amenities" such
     as waiter/waitress service, access to special restaurants &
     bars, valet parking, private restrooms, telephones and
     closed-circuit TVs.  Nash said that the city "could get ...
     at least several hundred thousand dollars a year" from the
     new interpretation.  A POST-DISPATCH analysis "shows the
     amount could be higher," as the city would take in an
     "additional $320,000 or so" just from the TWA Dome's 118
     luxury suites leased for Rams games.  Schlinkmann writes
     that Nash "hopes to resolve the issue in private meetings
     with the teams but that it was possible that the matter
     could end up in court" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 10/28).

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