Deal For New Giants Stadium Stalled
The New York Giants football team is once again trying to put the screws to New Jersey taxpayers. The Giants are threatening the State and Codey is running around begging the Giants to return to the negotiating table. Is there any wonder why the taxpayers always come out on the short end of these deals?
The state’s negotiating with the Giants over a deal for a new football stadium is just another example of government getting involved in something outside of its area of responsibility. The State never should have gotten mixed up in the entertainment business in the first place and now the Giants are threatening taxpayers unless they get a lopsided deal for a new stadium.
The Giant’s lease calls for New Jersey to pay for "state of the art" updates to the current stadium, estimated by the Giants to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars. The Giants have also threatened to move out of New Jersey by partnering with the Jets in a proposed new stadium on New York City's West Side. These are the threats the Giants hold over our head unless they get the deal they want for a new stadium.
Here again we find taxpayer's interests at odds with those of tax receivers. The various deals the State has made with the Giants over the years have clearly favored the tax receivers, in this case a New York football team.
Take a look at the original deal for a new stadium the Giants proposed to New Jersey. As far as we can tell the only concession the Giants have been willing to make involves an increase in rent payment to the State from a $1 to $6.5 million per year. Such a deal. New Jersey taxpayers still owe $117 million dollars on the “old” Giants stadium built in 1976.
So, what was the State demanding that led to the present impasse with the Giants – a proposal that would give future governors the right to collect taxes from luxury box and ticket sales; and an ultimatum that the team accept an existing agreement with developers of Xanadu, a $1.3 billion entertainment and shopping venue planned for the sports complex.
That’s right, the Acting Governor's concerns were for taxing authority and protection for a developer and other tax receivers. No matter how this whole saga ends, the taxpayers will come out on the losing side. Our only hope is for the New York Giants and the New York Jets to con the taxpayers across the river into building them a new stadium.
We’d still be stuck with $117 million in debt, but at least we won’t get sucked into a new agreement that would place greater financial burden on us for the next 30 or 40 years. It’s time for the New York football teams to go home – they’ve worn out their welcome.
Unfortunately, we think the Giants are bluffing. So Governor Codey, call their bluff, demand the Giants payoff the $117 million and hold out for a deal that benefits the taxpayers. If the Giants raise the scepter of the cost for stadium updates, put your lawyers to work. The government finds a way to get around every promise and agreement with taxpayers, there must be a way to void agreements with tax receivers. Who knows this approach may be the start of good things to come.
More here, here and here.