Saturday, July 26, 2008

My opposition letter to a sales tax for professional baseball

Dear Mr. Quinn,
I wrote the letter below the day that your Editor wrote promoting the sales tax to provide incentive to attract or keep Major League Baseball in Tucson. My response was quick and short as is required to be published. It was not published. Seeing your colorful and attention grabbing article in today's Star convinces me that the Star will continue to push until they convince voters to approve another increase in the sales tax to provide additional give aways to professional sports.
It should be obvious by now that Tucsonians do not support professional sports to any large degree. Just review the lists of bowl games cancelled, hockey, baseball and softball teams that could not attract enough fans to survive. We do support the U of A teams and revel in their successes and cry when they lose. Lute Olson is a household name, adored until recently with the still unexplained debacle of the last season. Regardless the 15,000 seats will be filled with shouting, excited fans as we always do.
If you are a serious reporter read Free Lunch by David Cay Johnston. If you don't want to read it all then just read the chapter on professional sports and how they play one community off against another, always insisting on the taxpayers providing the funds so that they can continue their reckless ways of making huge profits while paying outlandish salaries to the players. The rush of players to the major league teams is making a mockery of college sports with low graduation rates and continual rebuilding as the players leave so quickly.
The new Yankee stadium is a clear example. They took a park used by families and gave it to Steinbrenner. The Seattle basketball team moving to Oklahoma and Glendale luring one of our teams to the Phoenix area or the fact that L.A does not have a professional football team I assume because the city has resisted their outlandish demands or moving the team from Cleveland to Baltimore. I could go on and on.
The owners have no loyalty to the city or State. The same is true for the coaches and players but of course they demand that the fans cheer them on and give them their money.
In my own little way I will continue to resist the Star's promotion of the sales tax.
Thanks for reading.
Jack B. Walters

--- On Wed, 7/2/08, Jack Walters wrote:
From: Jack Walters
Subject: Letter to the editor
To: "Arizona Daily Star"
Date: Wednesday, July 2, 2008, 11:46 AM
Your editorial 7/2/08 was just plain wrong.
Professional sports have been tapping the tax payers at an ever increasing rate for the past 40 years. Sales tax, bed tax, concessions on property tax and proceeds from sale of concessions, gifts of land, transportation roads built at no cost and on and on. They always pit one State, county or city against another, always threatening to move if they don't receive all they demand. Public officials cave in place by place only to find that the prize they seek still may move on if better offers are put forth.
The fact that the Arizona Senate did not approve new taxes may not have been due to deep thinking into this subject but rather they were distracted by the kooky gay marriage subject which seems to be more important than practical issues which effect us all.
If these fabulously rich baseball clubs want upgrades let them pay for them or move on. I for one, could care less. What I do care about is making all of us pay for the privilege of them enjoying our pleasant winter, spring climate to practice.
Jack B. Walters
3961 N. Hillwood Circle
Tucson, AZ 85750
(520) 722-2958
July 2, 2008

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