|Bailout Bill Would Increase Tax On Lucas Oil
Stadium Tickets From 6% To 10%
Indianapolis' Capital Improvement Board (CIB) President Bob Grand Friday said that if a deal "isn't reached on a $47[M] bailout bill it's possible Lucas Oil Stadium may close," according to WRTV-ABC. The Indiana Senate Appropriations Committee "approved a bill Thursday that would raise several taxes, including those on alcohol statewide, restaurant meals and hotel stays in Marion County and tickets to sporting events in Indianapolis to bail out the organization that manages the city's professional sports facilities." Grand said that the CIB "won't have many choices if the Legislature doesn't approve the bill." Grand: "If you want me to give you worse-cases, I mean the worst-case scenario is we could be out of money and the facilities would be, arguably, closed." The "largest part of the CIB's deficit comes from the higher-than-expected operating costs for Lucas Oil Stadium." The CIB "now estimates a total of $26[M] in operating costs" for the venue. The bailout bill would "increase the tax" on Lucas Oil Stadium and Conseco Fieldhouse tickets from 6% to 10%. The bill also "assumes $5[M] a year each in contributions from" the Colts and Pacers. Pacers COO Rick Fuson "has been upbeat about" his team's part of the deal, "possibly because the Pacers would be able to get out of their current $15[M] commitment to operate Conseco Fieldhouse." But the Colts "have made no promise to pay anything" (THEINDYCHANNEL.com, 4/3
ON THE MONEY: In Indianapolis, Bob Kravitz wrote, "Before we even think about another tax to make up that reported $47[M] shortfall, an independent auditor must be brought in to look at the books. I want that person to tell the public what happened to the money." If the Colts are "going to be asked to kick in money to save the CIB, they should then receive the option the Pacers got: After 10 years, they should have the right to renegotiate the lease." The Pacers are getting a $15M "helping hand from the CIB to operate the fieldhouse, so it seems to me they should be more willing to kick in the" $5M (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 4/5).