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Poll: Overwhelming number oppose tax support for Saints

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Poll: Overwhelming number oppose tax support for Saints By The Associated Press NEW ORLEANS -- Nearly three out of every four Louisiana voters oppose giving tax dollars to keep the NFL's Saints in New Orleans, according to a poll compiled ...

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Old 05-20-2005, 08:18 AM   #1
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Poll: Overwhelming number oppose tax support for Saints

Poll: Overwhelming number oppose tax support for Saints


By The Associated Press
NEW ORLEANS -- Nearly three out of every four Louisiana voters oppose giving tax dollars to keep the NFL's Saints in New Orleans, according to a poll compiled for a state lawmaker.
Gov. Kathleen Blanco has been attempting to get Saints owner Tom Benson to renegotiate a deal giving the team $186 million over 10 years, saying the state cannot afford it. The contract was negotiated by then-Gov. Mike Foster and approved by the Legislature.

Benson recently canceled additional negotiations until after the 2005 season when the Saints have their first opportunity to negate the current deal and move by repaying the $81 million the team received during the first five years of the contract. The state can opt out of the deal after the 2007 season.

Pollster Verne Kennedy's Florida-based Market Research Insight conducted the statewide telephone poll of 350 voters April 22-25 for Sen. James David Cain, R-Dry Creek. The poll asked: "Do you favor or oppose the use of tax dollars to keep the New Orleans Saints in Louisiana?"

Of those who responded, 62 percent were strongly opposed to using tax dollars, 7 percent were somewhat opposed, 8 percent were undecided, 9 percent were somewhat in favor and 14 percent strongly were in favor.

When the undecided voters were taken out, 67 percent strongly opposed using tax dollars to keep the team, 8 percent were somewhat opposed, 10 percent were somewhat in favor and 15 percent were strongly in favor.

The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points, Market Research Insight said.

In a statement, Cain said he was "only the messenger," but added: "It's just not right for us to give corporate welfare to one business, just because it is a football team, while we are taxing other businesses so much they are leaving the state."

"Clearly, Louisiana's image is enhanced if the Saints stay in Louisiana, but the voters are opposed to having any more state tax dollars spent on a football team," Cain said.

The Saints did not respond immediately to a call for comment on the poll. The Blanco administration did not immediately comment.

Benson called off negotiations after reviewing a state proposal focused on a $174 million renovation of the Louisiana Superdome with the Saints contributing $40 million. The Blanco administration said that deal would increase the team's ability to make money, but also reduce the amount of guaranteed income from the state after the renovation is complete.

The state proposal includes $267 million in guaranteed money for the team, $134 million toward the stadium renovation and an estimated $336 million in additional revenue the Saints could earn after the renovation is complete.

Last week, Stanley Rosenberg, Benson's attorney and a member of the team's board of directors, said Benson was interested in moving the team, perhaps to his second home in San Antonio. Rosenberg also said the Saints had discussed the possibility of moving to Albuquerque, N.M., and that Benson had received several offers to sell the team, including one for more than $1 billion.

State officials said they considered the report a bargaining ploy by the Saints.

On Monday, the Senate Finance Committee voted 7-2 to kill a bill that would bar giving the Saints any more state money to stay in Louisiana.

Sen. Rob Marionneaux, D-Livonia, and the bill's sponsor, said the money would be better spent elsewhere on health care and other state needs. But other lawmakers said that the bill would break the existing contract, costing the state millions of dollars in penalties and could reflect badly on the state when it tries to enter into other economic development deals.
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Old 05-20-2005, 08:48 AM   #2
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RE: Poll: Overwhelming number oppose tax support for Saints

Well there you have it. Like Blanco or hate her, she has a responsibility to the people of the State of Louisiana. It's rare to see voters to clearly or strongly in agreement about an issue. At this point, what else could Blanco possibly do? I'm not sure what Benson expects to get in addition, but he'd be wise to step back up to the bargaining table and try to end this thing. Maybe he expects the team to have a good season and thinks he'll get more good will after a winning season.
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Old 05-20-2005, 09:26 AM   #3
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RE: Poll: Overwhelming number oppose tax support for Saints

I don't know how a poll of only 350 people across the state (and I'm assuming it was across the state and not just in this guy's own district alone) can mean very much. On top of that, did you notice the date of the poll? It was conducted right over the top of the Draft. A notoriously negative time for the team.

On top of all that, it's a very difficult question to answer in its form. I'm not really in favor of paying the money, but I'd rather do it than let the team leave. However, I think Benson should have to show how much he needs by opening his books. At least then we could erase all this suspicion.
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Old 05-20-2005, 11:11 AM   #4
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GIVING money to the Saints? Ha! OK, thats what you call designing a poll question to get an answer you want. Its so transparent its laugable. WhoDat? Did you word the poll for them?

How about if they worded it like this? I'll bet the results would be different....

Should the State INVEST tax dollars into the Saints, bringing more money into the State?
OR-
Should the State divert a portion of their excessive non-necessary pork spending to INVEST in the Saints?
OR-
Should the State lose money and jobs by not INVESTING in the Saints?
OR-
If the State will actually make more money INVESTING tax dollars in the Saints, should they?

POLL WORDING- A technique used to convince the uninformed your opinion is in the majority.

MY favorite CNN/USA Poll was this little gem...

How do you think Mr. X is doing?
40% said Excellent
20% said good
20% said OK
20% said bad

Reported POLL Results:
80% of the people polled don't think Mr.X is doing a good job!

Let me word a poll and I'll get ANY result you want.

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Old 05-20-2005, 01:46 PM   #5
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How could you possibly ask that question in a more neutral way?

Danno - your example is off.

Saints spin: Do you favor or oppose the investment of state funds to ensure the Saints future in New Orleans?

State spin: Do you favor or oppose using tax dollars to pay the Saints a subsidy to stay in New Orleans?

Neutral: Do you favor or oppose the use of tax dollars to keep the New Orleans Saints in Louisiana?


I'm open. Show me a more neutral question.
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Old 05-20-2005, 02:01 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by WhoDat
Neutral: Do you favor or oppose the use of tax dollars to keep the New Orleans Saints in Louisiana?
I'm open. Show me a more neutral question.
OK...
Neutral: Do you favor or oppose the use of tax dollars to keep businesses in Louisiana?
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Old 05-20-2005, 02:05 PM   #7
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Or maybe

Do you favor or oppose the use of tax dollars to keep businesses like the New Orleans Saints in Louisiana?
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Old 05-20-2005, 02:17 PM   #8
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But the issue at hand isn't about giving businesses money. How many businesses in LA have any incentive at all? A handful I would bet, but I honestly don't know. Furthermore, most of those incentives most likely come in the form of tax breaks, not direct payments. Can you tell me how many other businesses receive direct payments from the state in LA? Is the issue about providing subsidies for businesses, or for the Saints?
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Old 05-20-2005, 02:20 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Danno
Originally Posted by WhoDat
Neutral: Do you favor or oppose the use of tax dollars to keep the New Orleans Saints in Louisiana?
I'm open. Show me a more neutral question.
OK...
Neutral: Do you favor or oppose the use of tax dollars to keep businesses in Louisiana?
that is not a neutral question, because business in general are not run like an NFL franchise, nor they get the kind of considerations the Saints are getting...

... you don't see companies asking governments to build them office space for free...
... you don't see companies getting profits from concessions operating off a building that isn't theirs...
... and you do not see companies flat out asking for cash to "compensate for profits not realized"...
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Old 05-20-2005, 02:27 PM   #10
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All good points TR.

To me, there is a big difference between a direct payment and a tax break. States normally give businesses tax breaks. There's good reason for that. The more income that your company can make in the state - the larger the tax break and greater your profits. But it requires the business to do something to ensure it makes money. There's benefits for both the State and business.

With a direct payment, Benson's state contribution is guaranteed. It doesn't matter if he makes $100 million or zero - he's getting $15 million this year.

I don't think that the State of LA give Entergy money just to stay in the state. Tax breaks, I'm sure. But Entergy doesn't get guaranteed dollars from the State for doing nothing.

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