Tuesday, April 09, 2013
One Hearing And 15 Minutes To Decide On The Latest Taxpayer Giveaway To The Colts
The Capital Improvement Board spent all of 15 minutes discussing the latest taxpayer giveaway to one of the billionaire sports team owners at its first and only hearing on this subject. Yes, that's all the time it required to discuss taxpayers paying $2 million to build out two new suites at Lucas Oil Stadium, all of the revenues from which will flow to Colts owner Jim Irsay. One can either assume that illegal discussions are had prior to the meeting in violation of Indiana's open door law among the board members about matters on the agenda, or the board members are simply so in the tank with the corrupt one-sided deals negotiated by the CIB's attorneys and executive employees that they require no explanation for the information tendered to them for the first time. The attorney for the board tried to put lipstick on this pig by saying the Colts had graciously agreed not to refuse to collect a higher ticket tax it is legally obligated to collect as a result of an ordinance adopted a few months back by the City-County Council. The CIB also reached a cost-sharing agreement on concession expenses. As a reminder, the CIB contracts with CenterPlate to operate the concessions at LOS. The Colts get to keep all of the revenues generated from the concessions on game days; only a small portion of concession revenues is shared from what few non-game events are held there with the CIB, which pays the entire cost of operating and maintaining LOS, and which the Colts get to use rent-free. If an arms length transaction had been negotiated, the taxpayers would pay none of the concession expenses in light of the already one-sided deal in favor of the Colts. Only one member voted against it, CCC President Maggie Lewis, who supported the ticket tax increase and the auto rental tax that helps pay for this latest taxpayer giveaway. One board member had to recuse himself. Lobbyist Doug Brown's law firm, Bose McKinney, is a lobbyist for Jim Irsay's Indianapolis Colts. Only in Indianapolis would a lobbyist be allowed to sit on a board whose largest vendor is a client of the person. Recall that former CIB President Bob Grand's law firm represented the owners of the Indiana Pacers.