The actual language of the legislation to have St. Louis taxpayers provide Rams owner Stan Kroenke with $145 million in tax money toward a new stadium has finally been written, and re-written, and submitted to the city’s board of aldermen, and it now looks like this:
- Instead of directing $6 million a year in hotel-tax receipts to the new Rams stadium (taxes that are currently going to pay off the old Rams stadium, and which would be extended another few decades under the new plan), the payments would start at $4.5 million a year and then eventually ramp up to $9 million a year, “to better match an expected rise in tax dollars,” according to Slay staffers paraphrased in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. That’s going to be the same amount in present value, but pushes off some of the cost to future years when, presumably, the people voting on it are less likely to still be in office (or even alive).
- The Rube Goldberg scheme of having Kroenke let the city use naming-rights money to pay for part of its stadium share and then get repaid with kicked-back income and sales taxes wouldn’t use up all of the city’s income and sales taxes from the stadium — just 64 percent of it. The other 36 percent the city would get to keep, because there would be enough left over after paying Kroenke that … come to think of it, how do they know what will be left over after paying Kroenke? NFL income and sales figure generally go up, sure, but if they don’t, presumably the city would have to give up a bigger share, right? Anyone think to ask this?
Anyway, all this number-shuffling doesn’t change the cost to St. Louis taxpayers: It’s still $145 million in construction costs to be paid off, regardless of when the payments are made or what change is left over after making them. The board of aldermen is meeting today to discuss the plan, after which we, and Slay, will presumably get to hear whether his sleight of hand worked to make anyone any happier.