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tiggerpolice 05-30-2005 07:43 PM

Blanco seeking new New Orleans taxes for Saints deal
 
Blanco seeking new New Orleans taxes for Saints deal


By The Associated Press

12 p.m.
Gov. Kathleen Blanco is backing new taxes on New Orleans hotels, rental cars and football tickets as a way of raising money to help meet the state's annual payments to the New Orleans Saints.

Two Blanco administration bills would create about $12 million in new annual revenue, drawn mainly from Saints fans and the tourism industry in Orleans and Jefferson parishes.

Andy Kopplin, Blanco's chief of staff, said the governor had hoped to raise the additional revenue to support a proposed long-term contract between the state and the Saints that included a state renovation of the Superdome.

But team owner Tom Benson has cut off talks toward a deal, leaving the state with its current obligation to the team.

"We'd rather come to the Legislature with these revenue sources for a long-term deal," Kopplin said. "Unfortunately, because Mr. Benson has yet to say yes, we have to come forward for the revenue to meet the existing contract."

The state has a 10-year, $186 million deal with the Saints that includes annual cash payments, free Superdome rent and concession sales revenue for the franchise. The Superdome commission, which is the conduit for the state's annual payments to the Saints, will fall as much as $10 million short on its $15 million payment due the Saints on July 5, officials said Sunday, predicting that shortfall will be $13 million a year later.

The governor is supporting a new 5 percent tax on auto rentals in Jefferson and Orleans parishes and an increase in the state's tax on hotel rooms in the two parishes from 4 percent to 5 percent.

The legislation also would permit a fee at the Superdome of as much as 10 percent for tickets to Saints games or any other NFL event. Up to 10 percent could be charged for food, drinks, catering and merchandise sold in the Superdome for any event. The Superdome commission would set the sports fee amounts.

The bills are scheduled for a House committee hearing Wednesday.

The local hotel industry has in principle gone along with the idea of a higher room tax if the state enters a long-term deal with the Saints, but hotel officials have not favored the proposal to meet the current Saints contract. The overall room tax currently is about 13 percent.

In addition, some New Orleans lawmakers want to use at least part of a new hotel tax to finance other local projects, such as crime prevention and medical research.

Meanwhile, the Superdome's financial woes do not end with the Saints. The facility has an estimated backlog of maintenance and renovation costs of more than $4 million.


http://www.2theadvocate.com/stories/...tsrev001.shtml

WhoDat 05-31-2005 08:45 AM

RE: Blanco seeking new New Orleans taxes for Saints deal
 
On this one, I have to say, I side with Benson... sort of. What I really mean is that this is a bad idea.

The fact that the State legislature passed the budget last week, or whenever it was, without appropriating any funds for the Saints borders on sheer stupidity. Moreover, while I understand that Blanco is looking for a stable long-term fix, this current BS that she is pulling - the "I need to find new tax streams just to pay the team" isn't fooling anyone - or it shouldn't be. The State is presently awash with cash. The $1 tax on cigarettes will generate millions. The hundreds of millions of dollars of surplus cash that came in from the oil and gas taxes is being wasted away on greedy and incompetent politicians pet projects.

Think about this: what is a tax on tickets that goes directly back to the Saints? It sure as hell isn't a tax. It's a virtual ticket increase. Considering that ticket sales were cut in half when prices went up this season, how many people think it's a good idea to add a tax on top of that?

I still feel that Benson has been shady. I still think that the offer on the table to him is a good one. However, that certainly doesn't mean that the State is entirely on the up-and-up. Like I said before, it's dumb and dumberer.

FireVenturi 05-31-2005 05:01 PM

i currently have season tickets and I wont pay one more red cent of a tax until we have a winner!!

progress 05-31-2005 07:58 PM

If the state passes a tax on new orleans residents to fund the saints, then the city should recieve all the taxes generated by the saints. It only seems fair.

And if they tax the tickets, you can bet Benson will make sure each ticket displays the tax so that when every fan looks at there ticket they'll be pissed at Blanco. In the case of a ticket tax, we'd even be taxing fans traveling here from out of state. Seems like it may drive away tourist in addition to in state fans.

And while I'm ranting, is Blanco trying to destroy the city, so she can let the Mississippi flood and redirect the mainflow through the Atchafalya thereby making Morgan City the new New Orleans. She is from New Iberia after all, and I am sure when she retires back there she would love a new state of the art mall built for her to powerwalk through in the mornings. Which may only be possible if she increase development in that area.

I know what I said is absurd, but this woman is a moron.

Euphoria 06-01-2005 09:25 AM

ya know she is trying to swing this into her favor. She is trying to get a bill in so New Orleans people to pay for everything as to leave the rest of the state alone. We all know the whole state benefits from the Saints being in New Orleans... but if she can get the bill axed then that gives her power to say that even the New Orleans residents doesn't want the team, so she can try and get the state legislation to axe the money owed to Benson.

ScottyRo 06-01-2005 11:45 AM

I will agree that the entire state benefits from the Saints in general. But when you look at it on a city level, what cities outside of the metro area really get much of an impact from the Saints? New Orleans and the surrounding communities get an easliy ascertainable benefit in the form of tourism. Thus, I think those communities should help keep the Saints through.

That aside, though, I said a while back that if they're going to put a tax on Hotel rooms, why not make it state-wide? A 1% increase in the monroe area on hotel taxes isn't going to generate a ton of income, but it will get some and will be a way for the entire state on the local levels to help keep the Saints. I also do not think that this increase in taxes on hotel rooms would be a detriment to the local hotel businesses. Maybe it makes too much sense to implement that sort of plan.

Tobias-Reiper 06-01-2005 12:03 PM

..well, if fans are really serious about keeping the team, what's wrong with paying more for tickets?
... aren't a few dollars worth keeping your team in town and helping the local economy?

Face it: Benson wants a new stadium because the new stadium is not only going to have more luxury boxes, but it is going to come with PSLs for every single seat. That "the facility is outdated" line is just that, a line. If Benson could get away with PSL's in the Dome, he'll do it and be happy with the Dome.

Euphoria 06-01-2005 12:24 PM

I haven't been to the Dome in a long time but from what I gather and hearing is that people want a new dome/stadium. I don't know if the prices for tickets is the issue. I think its more of a lets work out a deal for a new stadium and long term deal or uphold your end of the bargin which is subsidary payments. The State/gov. can't really just hold the Saint fans solely responsible for everything while the rest of the state benefits from the Saints being in the state.

4saintspirit 06-01-2005 12:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Euphoria
I haven't been to the Dome in a long time but from what I gather and hearing is that people want a new dome/stadium. I don't know if the prices for tickets is the issue. I think its more of a lets work out a deal for a new stadium and long term deal or uphold your end of the bargin which is subsidary payments. The State/gov. can't really just hold the Saint fans solely responsible for everything while the rest of the state benefits from the Saints being in the state.

The dome is an exellent place to watch the game -- problem is 2 fold -- the luxury boxes aren't enough and there is no PSL -- as far as my opinion --- I would like some sort of dome with a retractable roof -- I mean there are some cold weather teams that would come to New Orleans and couldn't stand the heat and humidity even in Sept --- it would give us an advantage

no_cloning 06-01-2005 01:47 PM

So the state is $10 million short on the $15 million they have to pay the Saints this year? Which means they don't have the money to pay for the deal Blanco proposed. Or at least that's what they want the public to believe. Now they have to borrow the $10 million from the educational fund - as if the Saints are to blame for the poor schools in this state.
This is all getting very annoying.
Taxing tickets to pay for the subsidies of the state to the Saints - that's just an insult. Just find the money - which everyone agrees has to be paid to the Saints, whatever deal may be in place - somewhere in the $18 billion budget and don't act like the Saints are responsible for tax increases.

With all the ill will towards the Saints that this administration is creating, why would they even want a long-term deal? Sounds to me like the state can sound a sigh of relief when the Saints leave and the financial burden is lifted.


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