Posts tagged ‘White Elephant’

November 29, 2011

Admissions Tax Defeated, Proposal Does Not Even Receive a Vote

by lewwaters

In a move that seemed to surprise many this afternoon, Clark County Commissioner Marc Boldt sided with Commissioner Tom Mielke in not supporting slapping a 5% admissions tax on county entertainment venues to pay a significant portion of a proposed new stadium.

Boldt had previously indicated support for this project and the tax, but today stated he simply could not support it due to concerns of whether or not the Vancouver City Council would also sign on to it.

In a lengthy public hearing this morning and into the afternoon, citizens were pretty evenly divided over support and opposition, much support coming from members of Identity Clark County, The Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, the Columbia River Economic Development Council and the Downtown Vancouver Association as well as a few private citizens. Nearly all opposition was expressed by private citizens who would be left on the hook for this stadium, should it turn into a white elephant as did the Amphitheater, the Hilton and a golf course in North County.

Seeing Identity Clark County and many others with high hopes of reaping personal side benefits from construction of a stadium with taxpayers taking the risks is not unexpected. We see much of that with Identity Clark County and their “vision” for our community, often leaving us, the struggling middle class out of the loop, but holding the bag.

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May 14, 2011

Baseball Team or Another White Elephant? If We Don’t Ask, We Don’t Know

by lewwaters

For several years many Vancouverites have longed for a pro-baseball team to be located in Vancouver and it looks now as if their cries might be answered. Mayor of Portland’s Vancouver, Tim ‘no show’ Leavitt has announced the likelihood of the Yakima Bears relocating to our community after several years in Yakima.

Many are elated and ready to jump headlong into the project while strongly objecting to others who raise questions about the move, especially where a portion of the project will require the use of tax dollars. We hear comments like “I am not quite sure why every aspect of this project needs to be so thoroughly parsed and vetted” from many of the same people who strongly object if a company like Wal-Mart announces plans to build a store with all private funds.

The Yakima Bears is a Class ‘A’ team affiliated with the Arizona Diamondbacks and has been playing out of Yakima for 21 years. Financially, they have been losing money for at least the last 9 years, a loss the team owners claim is due to an undersized stadium resulting in “to low in-stadium spending” according to Team Owners.

While game attendance is said to have been increasing, the Yakima Herald reports that game attendance averages less that 1,800 per game, about half of that of other Class ‘A’ Teams.

The Portland Beavers left due to their attendance averaging less than 1,900 per game.

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