The current funding strategy as proposed by the stadium finance team is no touchdown for our taxpayers. Taxes will increase and that's not what was promised to our citizens.
Public commentary by officials has suggested to the taxpayers that the city's funding commitment for the proposed New Stadium would require no new taxes. In fact, the city's funding commitment is supposed to be limited to the current $6 million annual appropriation for the Edward Jones Dome. However, it appears that the city is on the hook for the St. Louis County's $6 million share when they decided to not participate in funding a new stadium. According to the proposed financial plan documents recently shared with my office by the stadium finance team, a funding commitment of at least $12 million is what is before the city for consideration.
An annual appropriation for any amount above the current $6 million would put the city's credit at risk and potentially lead to higher interest costs to issue bonds for much needed citywide public safety and infrastructure improvements.
As comptroller, I am only willing to support the fiscally responsible annual appropriation the city already pays. The funding gap that resulted when the county declined to participate should have been considered the responsibility of all of the remaining parties, not just the city.
In order to protect taxpayers, my office has worked diligently over the past two days to prepare and provide a helpful overview and thoughtful solution on how to close the funding gap without increasing the city's debt and that saves taxpayer dollars. The Stadium finance team would do well to give careful consideration to creating a sports authority through the state utilizing their higher rated bonds. Another option is to identify a new revenue source, such as annual renewal fee for Private Seat licenses.
The Comptroller of the city of St. Louis is charged with protecting the credit of the city and being a watchdog over taxpayer dollars.
Review the background information about the Comptroller's position about the stadium financial plan and other relevant resources below.
Office of the Comptroller
Sports and Recreation