Friday, February 28, 2014

Ozdemir's Soccer Stadium Numbers Generated In Fantasyland According To LSA Fiscal Statement

An LSA analysis of projected tax revenues generated from the proposed $87 million soccer stadium Turkish businessman Ersal Ozdemir is trying to force Indiana taxpayers to finance for his new Indy Eleven professional soccer team, which is yet to play its first game, reveals that the revenue estimates to which he testified at the House Ways & Means Committee were totally fabricated. Ozdemir claimed in his testimony that the new stadium would generate approximately $8 million in new revenues, and he asked state lawmakers to agree to set aside $5 million a year in state revenue tax collections to fund debt service on bonds issued to construct his new stadium. Ozdemir's plan calls for the Capital Improvement Board to assume ownership of the new stadium, which means no property taxes will be paid on a sports venue that will be used entirely for his profit-making purposes, and taxpayers will be left holding the bag on the costs of maintaining and operating the stadium.

The House agreed to pledge up to $2 million for Ozdemir's soccer stadium, or $60 million over a 30-year period, far short of the $5 million a year he requested ($150 million over 30 years), even though the legislature's fiscal statement indicated that tax revenues generated from the stadium would not even approach the $2 million figure. LSA projects that the new soccer stadium would only generate between $416,000 and $862,000 annually in combined income and sales taxes. Ticket sales to soccer games and other events are estimated to generate a paltry sum between $198,000 and $417,000 annually in admissions taxes. Under the legislation passed by the House, the state contribution of $2 million a year would be reduced by the amount of admissions taxes collected annually. That means the Capital Improvement Board (i.e., Marion County taxpayers) would be picking up a multi-million dollar annual shortfall to finance the stadium.

The telling number in the LSA analysis is the total admissions taxes collected last year from Lucas Oil Stadium, Banker's Life Fieldhouse and Victory Field. Ticket sales to Colts, Pacers and Indians games, along with revenues generated from concerts and other events held at those venues, generated $8.3 million. The PSDA in Marion County generated $10.2 million in state income taxes and $3.9 million in sales taxes. I should point out that the PSDA revenues include revenues generated by the J.W. Marriott Place, Marriot Hotel Downtown, Hyatt Regency and Westin Hotels. If the revenue numbers from the hotels were backed out of those figures, the actual revenue collections would be substantially less.

The IBJ has a story on the variance in revenues projected by Ozdemir versus the Legislative Services Agency here. Ozdemir did not respond to the IBJ's request for more information on how he made his calculations. The Indiana House of Representatives passed the public handout to Ozdemir's new soccer team on a vote of 58-35, proving once again that we have the best legislature money can buy. Click here for the roll call vote in the House to see if your lawmaker was among those who think it's your civic duty to finance the soccer team of this mysterious Turkish businessman about whom so little is known, but who suddenly has bucket loads of money to distribute to politicians up and down the state, which leads them to be very generous with your tax dollars towards him.


Flogger said...

Math may not be strong a suit for our Indiana Legislature. Indiana had the infamous but misnamed Pi Bill (226) in 1897. The Bill passed the House with without a dissenting vote. The bill never became law, due to the intervention of a mathematics professor who happened to be present in the legislature.(According to Wiki.)
It would not make difference today if a Math Professor proved the numbers for the Sucker Stadium were bogus. The Sucker Stadium Clique would just hire a Pay to Produce Contractor imbedded in the Sports Establishment to prove Ozdemir's numbers are correct. Thus 2 plus 2 would equal 5. The Elected Officials in Indiana will buy the new math.

Our Elected Officials may not even need to be convinced of the Math they are faith based after all - that is a faith based belief in Crony-Capitalism.

Anonymous said...

That video is right-on!