Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What those scamming us for a ballpark DON'T want you to know:

Here’s a few items of interest that those rabidly supporting the rip off of an entire county full of taxpayers to screw us to get what THEY want at OUR expense… don’t want YOU to know:

Those shilling for the Yakima Millionaires want us to believe this is some sort of “discretionary entertainment tax,” and that is just like what “Five counties in the state (Franklin, Grant, King, Kitsap and Snohomish) have admission taxes; 51 cities, ranging in size from Seattle to Omak, (which have also) enacted the tax,” are also doing. Nothing to see here… move along.

It’s not. But the rag, which stands to gain materially off shafting the entirety of this county to jack up THEIR untaxed-for-the-ballpark ad revenue, doesn’t want you to know the truth of the matter:

The proposed Admissions Tax is not similar to other counties around the state. The ballclub is describing this proposal as a "discretionary entertainment tax," but for that to be true it should only apply to the ballpark's events - where if you didn't want to support baseball or the stadium or pay the tax, you just don't buy baseball tickets or go to stadium events. This proposal levies the tax against all independent event businesses in the county (for profit or non-profit) which have no relationship or benefits from the tax, then dedicates all taxes raised to this one private venture. Therefore, if a patron doesn't want to pay the tax, the unrelated event businesses would suffer the loss of ticket sales, not the stadium.

Included in this scam will be all the non-profits.

The RCW allowing for the Admissions Tax specifically doesn't exempt non-profits, with the exception of school events. This could mean that any charitable event held anywhere in the county (banquets, auctions, fund raisers, fun runs, the Fair, the Historic Reserve, etc.) would all have to forfeit 5% of their proceeds raised, instead of the accepted model of taxing charitable events only when they use the new stadium which provides the opportunity.

Other targets for this scam would naturally include the county facilities… the fair admissions, the event center admissions, concert admissions and the like. And a 5% admissions tax will cost the Fair an estimated $150,950 per year. (depending on how "admissions" are finally defined)

The cost to the Fair is obvious. If the Fair were to raise its rates to offset the tax, the estimated decrease in attendance will cost the fair $238,416 per year. (The attendance-driven revenues far outweigh the admissions) The law of supply & demand: higher prices = fewer sales. Analysis of the last two $1 increases for the fair resulted in a 5% and 6.2% reduction in sales respectively.

What most people don’t know is that Fair profits are used to offset event center costs. The Fair is extremely successful and its profits offset much of the Event Center's yearly expected deficits. But - there is still a yearly negative fund balance. If the Fair currently can't be expected to cover all the yearly operational costs of the Event Center and also can't fund the development of its own approved Master Plan, building and upgrades to its own facilities, then how can it be expected to help fund an unrelated ballpark?

The Yakima Millionaires falsely claim their will be no general fund liability as they are now proposing to fund 100% of the stadium in exchange for all the county admissions taxes. But, the admissions taxes alone will create liabilities to the general fund:

• An admissions tax levied against the Fair will increase the Event Center's yearly deficit by an est. $150,950 per year.

• An admissions tax levied against Tri Mountain Golf Course will increase its yearly deficit by an est. $45,000 per year.

• An admissions tax will severely impact the competitiveness of the Amphitheater, driving them closer to default.

Figures, apparently, don’t lie when it comes to scamming us for a ballpark, but liars, also quite apparently, figure.

The utter nonsense of the Millionaires take on what each of us will pay for THEIR ballpark (And to me, there is just something fundamentally wrong with the idea that we, The People, are going to pay for something the Millionaires will own) by suggesting that the cost will “only” be $2.50 per person per year is clear.

That conclusion is bogus on its face for a wide variety of reasons because the burden will fall on a very few unrelated businesses: The Fair, Amphitheater events, the Event Center events, movie theaters, the Historic Reserve, the symphony, fund raising events, golf courses, Washougal Motocross, etc. The tax comes from the gross proceeds of events. Higher prices for tickets in many cases are not possible as sales will significantly diminish. Many events and businesses survive within a 5% profit margin. With that margin gone, these events likely won't occur at all.

There is nothing right, ethical or fair about any of this. There are some things about this tax proposal that just don't seem to pass the basic "fairness test:"

• Requiring unrelated businesses - even competing businesses - to forfeit 5% of their revenues for one private enterprise.

• Expecting the Fair and other events to raise their prices and give the increase to the ballpark so the ballpark can keep their tickets low.

• Requiring the Amphitheater - built 100% with private funds and denied any public funding assistance - to forfeit 5% of its Revenue to help fund a competitor.

• The county to fund a majority of a stadium it neither owns nor manages.

There's a high level of irony here that the cancer of our local society disguised as a newspaper... a paper that will make bank off this waste of money's ads... so strongly demands that we pay the price for it when it's the unrelated businesses who will suffer... while the MOST related businesses... like the newspaper and others in the form of those making a lot of money off concessions at the ballpark... will be exempted from paying the tax they want everyone else to pay.

And how hypocritical is that?

What is Steve Stuart thinking? Did he take too many pitches to the head back when he was a jock? Do he and the other baseball freaks see their hobby as more important than funding fire houses and fire fighters?

It’s one thing to be stupid, Steve. It’s another thing altogether to abuse those you would govern because you and few of your butt buddies like Leavitt and Bomar want baseball… even if you have to screw 400,000 of us and a wide variety of small businesses to get it.



  1. I would like to do some further research on the data in your post. Would you please provide the source for the effect on revenue dollars so I can look at it further? I would really appreciate it.


    Greg Owens

  2. Why, Greg... I made it all up! You know, like my greens fees post and the taxes you want on them so you can watch the Yakima Millionaires make more money off of us... at our expense... and without our permission?

    You see, I don't know anyone in government... and no one talks to me at all, so all of these many problems, figures and concerns are just figments of my imagination.

    Further, while I would be more than happy to support a team if the owners paid for the land, the infrastructure and the facility itself; you have made it clear that YOU, as a perspective spectator, want me and 400,000 others who will never set foot in the facility YOU want... to pay for it for you.

    You want to challenge or disprove my numbers? Then feel free to do your own research.

    In short, no... I am not going to name my sources. This information was provided on condition of anonymity.

    And, as you've told me and Lew in the past: This is going to happen... and there's nothing Lew or I can do about it.

    There is no argument... no position... no information that would change your mind, The Liar Stuart's mind, or The Liar Leavitt's mind that ripping off the people of this county to get what YOU want at OUR expense so WE can further enrich a bunch of millionaires from Yakima... extorting millions of dollars from us without even asking... is anything but the greatest idea since canned beer.

    You and those like you want what you want, no matter how much it hurts others.

    So, no. You want the info? Do what I did.

    Dig for it.