Wisconsin state assembly leaders released a revised Milwaukee Bucks arena funding plan yesterday, and … it looks pretty much exactly the same as the arena funding plan released by Gov. Scott Walker four weeks ago. Same $55 million in bonds to be repaid out of state funds, same $55 million to be repaid out of currently uncollected county property taxes (assuming those can actually be collected, which is a big question), same $93 million diverted from current Wisconsin Center District funding streams, same $20 million (in two $10 million increments) to pay off the state’s remaining Bradley Center debt. Add in maybe $234 million or so in city funds and tax breaks, and you have a nice total public cost of about $457 million, or more than 90% of the total arena price tag — which could easily be 100% if you add in arena naming rights to the public building, which the Bucks are counting as part of the private side of the ledger.
So, nothing new at all here. Did the legislative leadership at least give a hint whether the arena would be included in the never-ending budget process, or get exiled to its own bill?
Still not clear is whether the arena deal will be included in the budget, or considered as stand alone legislation. Vos said it was important for the public, as well as members of both legislative chambers, to consider the draft, details of which are included in a memo from the Legislative Fiscal Bureau.
“I look forward to feedback from the members of the Senate and the public as they review the full details of this proposal, and will continue to work with all parties involved to ensure that any deal that keeps the Bucks in Milwaukee is a good deal for Wisconsin,” said Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau).
You heard the man. Members of the public, provide your feedback.