Now, as expected, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has made it law.
Mary Spicuzza of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Wisconsin will gain tax revenue based on having an NBA team in the state, but that simple statement of fact ignores several important factors:
- The Bucks wouldn’t have necessarily moved if the government didn’t gift them a new arena. The NBA could have bought the franchise for $575 million from owners Marc Lasry and Wes Edens if a new arena weren’t built. I bet they would have rather paid more the arena themselves than lose their team for that low price.
- The tax-revenue calculations are based on revenue sharing in a Collective Bargaining Agreement that could change soon and jock taxes that might not remain legal.
- If the Bucks left, other entertainment industries – movie theaters, restaurants, etc. – might have performed better and produced more tax revenue.
Alas, it’s too late now. Wisconsin taxpayers are stuck with what history has repeatedly shown to be a bad deal financially.