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Ohio Gubernatorial Candidate Proposes ‘Win Tax’ for Cleveland Sports Teams

Democrat Ed FitzGerald's plan would tie taxpayer support of teams to success on the field.

by
Paula Bolyard

Bio

June 7, 2014 - 3:00 am
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Embattled Democratic Ohio gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald threw a hail Mary pass in an attempt to bolster his flagging campaign on Thursday, proposing a ‘win tax’ on Cleveland sports teams. His plan would award 20 percent of Cleveland’s renewed sin tax – estimated at $2.6 million a year — based at least in part on how well the teams perform on the field. In May Cuyahoga County voters approved the extension of the sin tax on cigarettes and alcoholic beverages until 2035 to pay for maintaining Cleveland’s three publicly owned sports buildings.

“If competition is good on the field, maybe competition between these teams for these public dollars makes sense to incentivize them a little bit more,” said FitzGerald, who does not support competition for public dollars in education. “Our fan base is frustrated and they want the sense that their tax money is actually going to be supporting, to some extent, championship teams,” FitzGerald said.

FitzGerald, the current Cuyahoga County executive, showed reporters a slide show of Cleveland sports failures, contending that the city, with it’s 50-year championship drought, has one of the nation’s worst records in professional sports. He suggested there could be a “fan council” to determine which teams are more deserving of the tax revenues and called plans for equal tax sharing “distribution for dummies,” raising some eyebrows since that is the plan favored by Democrat Mayor Frank Jackson.

The “win tax” was immediately panned by nearly everyone in Cleveland. Community leaders from both ends of the political spectrum disagreed with the concept of performance-based competition for public dollars that fund the city’s beleaguered sports teams. 

Top Rated Comments   

Since sports franchises are the worst of the worst crony capitalists how about we eliminate all public funding of these toys for billionaires and worry about not tanking the economy that we thousand-aires are suffering with?
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (7)
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no public money for professional sports, why should citizens be subsidizing multi millionaire owners and players that may not even live in the community after the season is over.

Go back to 1984, and the Olympics were privatized. That Olympics made money, because they had to as there was no bail out coming. sports are already making billions, let them pay for it.

But I guess he wants his perks of going to games.

And nobody promises a championship in sports.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment

Since sports franchises are the worst of the worst crony capitalists how about we eliminate all public funding of these toys for billionaires and worry about not tanking the economy that we thousand-aires are suffering with?
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Bingo.

Can anyone document even ONE case where the taxpayers got their money's worth with one of these deals?

7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
A Democrat proposing that rewards should be based on actual results?

It is either a blatant lie not meant to be taken seriously, or he is due for a visit from the Peoples Commissariat for the Suppression of Thought Crime, or we have entered the Twilight Zone.

Subotai Bahadur
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Given the track record of Cleveland's sports teams, this plan has no possibility of actually being implemented.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hm... If 5 out of 7 members of the Cleveland City Council are against it, and 5 out of 6 members of the editorial board of the Cleveland Plain Dealer are against it, then it is probably a good idea.

Then again, I don't understand why the article mentions the Browns. They moved to Baltimore back in 1996. Those clowns currently inhabiting the Field of Broken Dreams deliberately misspelled their team name in order to make everyone think that the Browns are still there.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Who needs Ed FitzGerald as Governor when we already have a liberal Rhino in office.
7 weeks ago
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