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).