"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance

 and a people who mean to be their own governors

 must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."

Friday, April 15, 2005

We Want Our Bread, Not Circuses

The new Giants stadium deal is nearly etched in stone for the next 40 to 98 years and as we predicted, our Acting Governor is positively thrilled with the coup he’s pulled off for New Jersey’s taxpayers. Codey said: “The new stadium will provide jobs, fuel the state's economy and support the community. He also called the agreement for the new stadium "the best deal for the taxpayers of any stadium deal in the NFL."

Andrew Zimbalist, an economics professor at Smith College disagrees. The new Meadowlands facility will be "definitely in the top five" on the list of best stadium deals for taxpayers, Zimbaliste said, but it is not the best. Of course sports stadiums are never a good deal for taxpayers, so you could say the new Giants stadium deal is one of the best of the bad deals. We'd hate to see the others!

New Jersey still must pay off $124 million in debt on the old stadium and up to $30 million in infrastructure costs, which include road improvements and utility costs. The Giants will pay $6.3 million a year in rent and taxes to the state. New Jersey currently receives $19 million a year in revenue from the existing stadium.

Isn’t that a great deal? Give away 75 acres of valuable real estate; blowup a stadium we haven’t finished paying for after 30 years; put out $30 million more for a new parking lot; cover all maintenance and utilities costs for 98 years; reduce the rent by $12.7 million; and the give-aways go on and on. Is there any doubt left as to why New Jersey's finances are such a disaster? Codey and his fellow Democrats are living in an alternate universe if they consider this a good deal for taxpayers. They are completely incapable of managing our money. Is any more proof required?

You want more, think about this - if the Giants were taxed at the same rate our property is taxed, the New York football team would be paying well over $12 million a year in property taxes and that’s not even including the value of the land in the calculation. Keep that in mind when Codey tells you what a good deal the new stadium is for the taxpayers. Had the land been sold and developed by the private sector, the land would be generating real tax revenue, not a phony $6.3 million per year in lease payments.

Oh, and let's not forget, the Jets' lease with New Jersey's Sports Authority gives them the right to everything the Giants receive, so the team could theoretically demand a new stadium and 75 acres in the Meadowlands.

Unbelievable? Not really - we elect clowns and as you should expect, we get circuses.




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