Kings arena tax creeps ever closer

The Sacramento Bee reports that city and county officials will soon present a new arena financing plan for the Kings, consisting of … well, that would be telling, wouldn’t it? “It would be incorrect to assume it is just a sales tax,” county CFO Geoff Davey told the Bee, which means it’s probably mostly a sales tax, with a whole lot of paper-shuffling going on to pretend otherwise.

The advantage of a sales tax hike, county counsel Robert Ryan freely admitted, is that it doesn’t require votes within the effected cities, just a countywide vote. And while a two-thirds supermajority of voters is normally required to approve project-specific sales-tax hikes, Kings backers think they can get around the requirement by having one vote on a general sales-tax hike, and a separate vote on the same ballot on how to spend the money – something the California state supreme court, in a case involving Santa Clara County, has previously indicated is legal, if sneaky. (What is it about dodgy judicial precedents and Santa Clara County, anyway?) If all goes according to plan, the paired referenda would go before voters this November.

One comment on “Kings arena tax creeps ever closer

  1. The problem the Maloofs will create for themselves here is that the size of this request is so enormous, the taxpayers will never pass it.

    But I think the Maloofs bought this team to move it anyway. The devil is in the details here; the original loan in 1997 has out clauses that expire at the end of 2007, so they can leave at the end of next year by simply giving the City $20 million plus the arena.

    Plus, they host the All Star game in Vegas in 2007.

    Wow. What a coincidence.

    Voters have one chance to retain the Kings, and by making this request so large, I think they have guaranteed the voters will reject it.

    The question is: Is that what they want? On the face of it, it looks like they simply bought the team to move it after 2007 to me.

    We’ll know more later, but I just can’t see the voters accepting this.