Tampa Ballpark Funding
There is no “free” money for governments to spend, if that money comes from taxpayers.
It is ludicrous to justify funding a new ballpark with taxes that will no longer be needed to pay off convention center bonds.
If any government doesn’t reduce taxes when it can, it is in effect raising taxes.
Both the City of Tampa and the County of Hillsborough each have run their credit cards up to around one-billion dollars. The City and County spent that money against future tax incomes by borrowing the money, with interest, from bond investors.
The tax dollars needed to pay the interest on those bonds keeps us from spending today’s tax dollars on anything else we really need; like for education, health care and first-responders.
Having a downtown ballpark is not a bad idea.
A few years ago, a new ballpark in downtown San Diego, near both an historic district and a convention center worked wonders to improve neighboring property values and resulted in several new hotels and added tourist taxes.
If a new downtown Tampa ballpark can be funded thorough investments from increased downtown property taxes and increased hotel occupancy taxes, I say “Go for it.”
Otherwise, I say “Keep your tax-collecting hands out of my pocket.”
<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen