Jul 06 Messages from Chris
I would just like to personally express to you our take on the claims that have been made that our proposal fails to meet the I-91 standard. We worked very hard over the course of the last year to put a deal in place that insures that City and County taxpayers are protected, and that the City and County will earn a very high rate of return on their investment. As we have highlighted, we believe our proposal as it stands is one of the best arena proposals ever presented to a municipality in this country.
As posted on our site yesterday, we believe the “cash on cash” rate of return the City and County will receive on its $200 million is in the 8-10% range, which is 3-4x the required return under I-91. We have strictly adhered to both the legal wording of the initiative and the principals behind it.
While we have provided a very detailed, factually based, and scientifically calculated analysis of our position, those who have made statements that it does not meet I-91 simply have not. In this regard, we would also just highlight that any return analysis that purposely excludes the value of the real estate and ancillary taxes is incomplete and factually inaccurate.
In regards to the land value under the Arena not having value after 30 years, this would go against 30 years of empirical evidence regarding urban land values (including the 30 year rise in the appraised value of SODO land), and the belief that the land underlying KeyArena has no value is nothing short of ludicrous. We have provided a clear, logical, and factually based analysis of the value of the land to be owned by the City/County and I would simply ask those who disagree to provide an equally thorough and logical analysis of their position.
I would also argue that there is clear and irrefutable evidence to support that there will be incremental taxes generated outside the Arena. To those who have suggested that the academic evidence is either unclear or to the contrary, please show me the “academic evidence” that shows that a person from Bellingham who travels to a concert in Seattle and spends the night in a hotel, eats breakfast in a nearby restaurant, and buys some souvenirs at a shop in Seattle is somehow excluded from paying hotel and sales tax? Or that the new income a previously unemployed Arena construction worker spends on clothes for his family is somehow exempted from sales tax? I would more than welcome the opportunity (as would the general public) to review this “academic research.”
And at the end of the day we have the facts and the truth on our side... and with your continued support and action, I’m confident the truth will prevail.