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RandBall: Ohio politician wants to tie public funding for sports teams to victories

  • Blog Post by: Michael Rand
  • June 5, 2014 - 12:52 PM

Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald seems like a guy who enjoys a good soapbox. He's up on one now with an idea in Ohio: take the money allotted from the "sin" tax that is given for upkeep on pro sports teams in the state and make it at least partially tied to how those teams perform.

He's calling it a "win" tax.

GET IT?!

While we're sure this will play well with the ruuuuuuubes, and on its face it does seem like a keen idea, there is probably no practical merit to it. But it is a good attention grabber! Here are a few grafs from Cleveland.com, as sent to us by @fasolamatt:

Voters approved a 20-year extension of the sin tax – a countywide tax on alcohol and cigarettes – to pay for upkeep to FirstEnergy Stadium, Progressive Field and Quicken Loans Arena – last May.

His presentation to reporters included displaying a spreadsheet showing that of cities with three major professional sports teams, Cleveland's 50-year championship drought is the nation's longest.

He argued that if they're going support the Browns, Cavs and Indians games with their tax money, beleaguered Cleveland sports fans deserve a return on their investment.

He also said that there is a correlation between winning sports teams and economic development, citing decreased tax collections following LeBron James's departure from the Cavs in 2011.

"This is at least a small step, and I think it's a real step, to say ... we love these teams, we're loyal to these teams and we're committed to maintaining these facilities. But we can also try to demand to get something a little bit better than we've gotten over the past 50 years," FitzGerald said.

Many details of FitzGerald's plan have not been hashed out.

Ah, yes, the details. Those are the worst.

If only Honest Ed would come shake some trees with the fat cats at the Minnesota State Legislature, we'd have Joe Mauer's salary cut down by two-thirds in no time.

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