While St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke’s announced plans to build an almost $2 billion stadium in Southern California still unfolds, the city of St. Louis hasn’t raised the white flag yet.
The “Mound City” refuses to give up easily and let the storied franchise slip back to LaLa Land. Tuesday the Missouri Development Finance Board approved $15 million in tax credits this year for the proposed riverfront football stadium in St. Louis, reported the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The amount represents a little less than a third of the $50 million the city expects to grant the team over the next three years if the Rams agree to stay.
The proposed corporate welfare offered to the Rams comes with promises by city officials that tax payers will benefit by the arrangement. Board Chairwoman Marie Carmichael insists that the funds wouldn’t be delivered to new stadium planners until they were confident the tax credits were a good deal for the state.
“There are ample protections for our investment,” said Carmichael who was appointed by Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon. “All the ducks have to be in order, all the stars have to be aligned. Everything has to be in place before any (credits) are expended.”
According to the Dispatch:
The Dome authority, under direction from Nixon’s stadium task force, is funding plans to build the $998 million arena. They have proposed to pay for construction with $450 million from the National Football League and the team that plays here, $201 million in bond proceeds from the state and the city of St. Louis, $160 million from the sale of seat licenses and $187 million in tax credits, according to the state application.
Republican Rep. Jay Barnes, of Jefferson City, opposes offering the tax credits to the Rams. He argued that the stadium’s financial impact on the state remains unclear.
“If this board is serious about being responsible stewards of taxpayers dollars, it cannot vote to allow these tax credits to go forward with only the contingency seen in the project today,” Barnes said.
Sen. Rob Schaaf, R-St. Joseph, joins Barnes as a detractor. He recently sent a letter to the governor saying that he would filibuster any funding for a new stadium.