Thursday, January 17, 2013

Still Poorer Sacramento

Mayor Johnson and other city leaders are desperately trying to find investors to buy the Sacramento Kings and keep them from relocating to Seattle.  They also want to float $250 million in bonds to build a new arena for the Kings and Monster Truck shows.  Meanwhile in Seattle, the City Council has agreed to float $200 million in bonds for an arena for the relocated Kings.

I have no objection to rich guys buying themselves sports teams, if that's what they want to do with their money.  I might suggest that we should be taxing them more if they have that much money to spend on their toys, but that's beside the point.  But they never stop there.  They always want the gummit to help them out by "investing" hundreds of millions in their projects.

Now in Sacramento that's particularly appalling, as our City Manager issued a report claiming that our present bond indebtedness is some $830 million.  We need to add another $255 million to that?  Worse than that, the City Council doesn't talk about reneging on the bond debt, but wants to cut out the retiree medical benefit, a subsidy of some $300 a month to retired city workers.

More than that, is this what the City Council should be doing?  If they want to be entrepreneurs, that's fine, but they should raise their own money for their projects, instead of taking away retiree health care benefits.  But they want to spend their time hanging out with the movers-and-shakers, all of whom seem to want a government subsidy.

In Seattle, a lawsuit has already been filed to stop that city from floating the bonds, as the repayment is to come from expected tax surcharges--revenue that may not be sufficient to pay off the bonds.  Maybe Sacramento should pass something similar?

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