Thursday, March 18, 2010

Convention Center bill keeps moving on Friday

Friday in the Washington State Senate Ways & Means Committee they will have an Executive Session to voteon passing SB 6889 out of committee.

Like a rocket from a bottle shot free, this legislation was launched in draft form on Wednesday when it had a hearing, then transformed in SB 6889. Two days later a potential $57 million dollar cost of inaction by the state propelled the legislation on its current trajectory.

Again, this legislation is the same as HB 3027.
This allows the state to keep $57 million dollars the state has taken in the past. Not passing means the state ends up in court and could lose that $57 million dollars.
This legislation creates a new Public Facilities District in King County.
Let's build stuff!


bmac said...

i thought 3027 did mention stadiums and arenas, iswear that was mentioned here somewhere. was it taken out again? ps Go Huskies

Mr Baker said...

Page 6, section 4, still there.
The issue here is that the power to decide to build something has been limited to one thing at a time, at the direction of the state.
Think about Safeco Field having to ask the state to be able to maintain its facility, even if there was surplus funds, same with the Convention Center.
That choice is transferred to the PFD.
When the Convention Center bonds are paid off the pfd has the power and authority to build a ficility and keep on applying that tax.

What we would need for any new facility is an authorized funding source for the PFD to use.
Taxing athletes is not a tough sell in the legislature (my guess), turning around and building a new NBA/NHL arena with that money is well within the power of the pfd.

I think husky stadium may not get supported by this PFD. It is a state facility.

Mr Baker said...

Uh, a billionaire could partner with the convention center folks and build something really, really, big.

Peter said...

does dow constantine even know about the idea of taxing athletes to fund stadiums and arenas? it was sort of something we thought of by accident due to tom's admendment. if you think it will be an easy sell to the legislature, how do we convey that to the county that that's what we want them to do and get real momentum towards a stand alone athlete tax bill to build stadiums and arenas next year? i agree with you that the PFD being formed is really good news. seattle giving up on seattle center could actually be favor if it gets the talk about keyarena dead and we get athlete taxes to pay for an NEW ARENA. i would like to get the NHL, but don't we need a 20,000 seat arena for the NHL? if we bulid a new arena, i think it will last longer than a key redo. a key redo would bring up the same issues in 10 years, imo. it would become obselete real fast.

Mr Baker said...

Tax the athletes idea has been around longer than Tom's amendment.

I am sure Constantine is aware of the idea. First, that bill has to pass, second, a pfd has to be officially formed, third, nail down a funding structure.

Mr Baker said...

In 2007 Tom's "Jock Tax" amendment was an income tax. The state constitution does not allow an income tax.

Mr Baker said...

Here is the Renton Arena bill from 2007, sb 5986, Tom piled on a bunch of amendments there, too.

Brian's point about the current amendment is that it is a B & O tax.
It also does not kick in unless the athlete makes 10x that of a school teacher.

The House Bill 2264 had Fred Jarrett as a co-sponsor, he is now the Deputy King County Executive.

Peter said...

so if it's a b&o tax, it's legal. but if it's a income tax it not? however, if they impose an b&o tax on athletes and don't use all or the vast majority of money on stadiums and arenas, "singling out" athletes could become a problem. i think someone could sue and win unless they used the funds from the athlete tax directly on stadiums and arenas, and not state expenses. i don't think any league would go for it unless the money went directly back into the indrustry.

Mr Baker said...

" i think someone could sue and win unless they used the funds from the athlete tax directly on stadiums and arenas, and not state expenses."
true, and that is the point, it is also the point the hoteliers are using to sue the state.

The point may be moot, if the PFD gets the county 2.8 % hotel tax.