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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Another Paulson shot deflected

I'm not the world's best person to ask when it comes to the status of legislation in Salem, but if I'm reading this correctly, the Paulson stadiums tax bill -- the one that would subvert income taxes on soccer players' salaries to pay for yet another remodel of PGE Park -- died in committee in the state Senate.

If so, good.

Comments (20)

Gee, it was only for $ 5 Million a year. Surely Randy and Sam will have no problem closing another police precinct and laying off some cops to fill the funding gap caused by the failure of this raid on the state general fund.

Whatever they said, there was no way this was going to raise $5 million a year. The annual payroll of the teams is in the neighborhood of $2.5 million, the Oregon income tax on which would be something like $280,000.

It looks like no one was pushing this after the governor said he would not sign it if it had passed.

Soon this scheme will be a house of card.

"Gee, it was only for $ 5 Million a year. "

Easy - water rates up another 18% next year.

...and another 90 expendable employees tossed out of some other city bureau!

The deal boys will see only one thing in this failure: motivation. Buck up.
There's gold in them thar hills.

Even though HB 2531A passed in the House (died in the Senate) Rep. Barnhart made a very compelling argument against this bill on the House floor. As I recall, he said this bill sets a dangerous precedent by diverting funds from the General Fund. If this money were already in the General Fund would anyone even consider making this a budget item taking $5 million away from education, health care and public safety?

With this legislature raising our state budget by almost 9% from last year, one would think, what's $5 Million for a baseball park? The $280,000 added to the state coffers would finally catch up to the $5 Million with debt service costs after 10 years. And don't forget, there would be less jobs generated than existing.

I trust you were also vehemently opposed to the predecessor bill that would have siphoned off major league baseball salaries should a team have located here. And, likewise, opposed to the state of Oregon underwriting the "desperately needed" new University of Oregon basketball arena.

Thought not ...

Actually, the argument raised here is an excellent one: I know it's fun to take endless shots at Paulson, but you're not thinking this through. The state should be helping out with this. Oregon as a whole will profit from the tourism generated by MLS -- Seattle will be bringing at least 400 people for a weeknight game, to pick one example. There is already a contingent from Germany in town for Thursday night's game.

Bark for the win! Best dry wit ever.

Roger: If, as you perchance to dream, that Oregon as a whole will profit from MLS tourism, then why should Oregon as a whole not enjoy those profits, rather than plowing them back into the enterprise? Wouldn't that eliminate the profit?

Excuse me, it would take over 16 years to recover the $5 Million taken from the taxpayers-and that's assuming the player wages don't decline with the continued recession and MLS stays in business for the sixteen years.

I trust you were also vehemently opposed to the predecessor bill that would have siphoned off major league baseball salaries should a team have located here.

No, major league baseball -- best in the world -- is real money, and it really would stimulate the local economy. "Major league" soccer is second-rate junk, and it will probably be gone in a few years.

Oregon as a whole will profit from the tourism generated by MLS

You are delusional. "Soccer tourism" is so puny, it's laughable.

Seattle will be bringing at least 400 people for a weeknight game

I rest my case.

Seattle will be bringing at least 400 people for a weeknight game, to pick one example.

Why would they come here when they have their own MLS team?

The more important question is, how many more such fans will buy hotel rooms here if we convert the Timbers to "major league" status? The answer is, not many -- particularly since an expansion team is not likely to be any good for a while.

I know it's fun to take endless shots at Paulson

It's not fun at all. It's tiresome, tedious, irritating work made all the more unpleasant by its being endless. Would love nothing more than to see him go back east where he belongs and put an end to this "fun."

This is becoming a classic case of framing an issue. I'm going to repeat my position from early on: I'm not opposed to MLS in Portland. It's dedicating PGE Park solely to it, while kicking out the baseball team and spending a fortune doing it that gets me.
We've reviewed a billion times why MLS soccer can't work in PGE Park as it is now, but I think tomorrow will show that it can. Of course we can step up the amenities but do we really have to build a U-shape structure to cover new stands to the east. Is that the plan? So we even have a plan?

It will also be very interesting to see how the "minor league" Timbers fare against such "major league" competition. You realize if they do well against Seattle, it means we're not getting that much better of a product, right? So I'm open to see how that turns out, but it doesn't matter because I'm not against soccer. I'm against this deal.

You know what really worries me about soccer in the US? Our US team went up 2-0 against Brazil last weekend. The second goal by Donovan was the most impressive thing I've ever seen an American soccer team do. They looked like the Italians doing a classic, brilliant counter-attack on the way to winning the World Cup.

Okay, they ran out of gas, and Brazil came back to win 3-2, but I honestly thought that effort would be a huge story in this country.

It sank without a trace.

I am a soccer fan. I'm not opposed to the MLS. I'm just opposed to a giveaway to Paulson.
I don't trust him, or the city council.

People act like this is an anti-soccer thing, but for me it started with the tram. That's when I first understood how these schemes materialize. I think the most irritating part is knowing they're talking out their ass.

I can almost deliver future apologies before the city council. Here, they can use this for the soccer deal if they want:

"It turns out the numbers were guesstimates and though we are not obliged to sink any more millions into this, not doing so could expose the city to a prolonged court case, so we're going to admit our mistake and kick in more."

"However, we want to assure the citizens of Portland that we have learned from our mistakes and this...(everybody join in)... WILL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN!"

Oh, gosh. Paulson isn't getting his Republican Socialist handouts after all. Just wait for him to cry and scream about how he's going to take his toys and go somewhere where the people appreciate everything he's bringing for them. And when Sheepdip, Wyoming opens its new stadium, why, he'll show us all!

I think tonight's game will greatly increase our leverage with Garber. I think he's acting like he doesn't need Portland, and that he'd rather tap the Seattle-Montreal rivalry.
Well, I say this game will show why Portland is the right place and that we can dictate the terms to him.

I know we've yet to see such little details as the remodeling plans for PGE. Do they include extending the roof around to the East? If so that already sounds much more expensive than they're letting on.

Roger -

It is unclear to whom your snarky comment about opposing raids on the general fund for MLB was addressed, but if it was me, my record on this blog is clear: no tax funds for millionaire team owners.

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