Wisconsin Gov. Mulls Arena Financing Options, Including Tapping Taxes Generated By Bucks
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said that his staff is "studying the possibility of tapping income taxes from NBA players and other tax revenue directly generated" by Bucks games to "possibly pay off any public financing necessary for a new arena," according to Rich Kirchen of the MILWAUKEE BUSINESS JOURNAL. Walker said that the public financing "could include bonds or a tax incremental financing district." The idea is just a concept at this point, and Walker said that he "is not making a proposal." Walker: "It’s good to start looking at numbers now to know what that real dollar amount is and then say reasonably at that level it might warrant that being the basis of some sort of discussion." Kirchen noted the fact that Walker is "publicly indicating there is a possibility of arranging state funding for an arena in Milwaukee is significant because he has kept his distance from such talk." Walker noted that the Bucks "have yet to request a specific dollar amount for public funding of a new arena." New Bucks co-Owners Marc Lasry and Wes Edens "have pledged" a combined $100M to an arena project and former Bucks owner Herb Kohl "has pledged" another $100M. A new arena is "projected to cost" at least $400M. Walker said that he "has not talked with Lasry and Edens and no plan is on the table." Walker added that he "likes the concept of calculating a concrete figure for state and local tax revenue from player salaries -- Bucks players and visiting team players pay income tax for games here -- as well as sales tax on concessions, merchandise and tickets" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 6/27).