Funding bill BB219 that is being heard in the St. Louis Board of Aldermen's Ways and Means Committee to build a new stadium is not fiscally responsible. If the bill is passed in its current state and presented to the Board of Estimate and Apportionment, my vote will be "no."
However, I have continued to offer funding solutions that will not jeopardize the city's credit rating, siphon funding for the public good or build a stadium on the backs of St. Louis taxpayers.
Here are two proposals for bridging the funding gap that would be created in the budget if the current bill is passed by the Board of Aldermen:
- State Sports Authority - Create a statewide authority funded by tourist dollars, such as a surcharge on rental cars, and with the power to issue bonds to pay for sports-related projects throughout the state of Missouri. Between the St. Louis Cardinals, Kansas City Royals, the Blues, St. Louis Rams, Kansas City Chiefs and collegiate teams, there is far more synergy for a statewide sports authority in Missouri than in many states that already have them. This leverages what sports franchises and teams bring in tourism, public image and visitor dollars to our state as a whole. Local taxpayer dollars can then be directed where they are most needed for infrastructure, public safety and community-building.
- Regional Solution to Close the City's Budget Gap - I propose supporting a draft bill sponsored by Alderwoman Donna Baringer that will establish a Crime Reduction and Professional Policing Fund (CRPP) as a possible companion bill. Regional businesses would be asked to partner with the city to finance the CRPP fund and close the budget gap that would be created if the stadium funding bill is passed.
Office of the Comptroller
Sports and Recreation