July 28, 2015

My Vote on the Milwaukee Bucks Arena Deal

The "Bucks arena deal" has been the source of much debate over the past six months. The original request proposed by Governor Walker included a whopping $220 million in state support. There was absolutely no way that I could support this package on any level. Is it moral for a large corporation to throw a hissy fit and hold the state hostage if hard-earned taxpayer dollars are not dropped at their feet? Absolutely not! I am ideologically opposed to doling out money for a few wealthy individuals who can altogether afford to pay the bill themselves without so much as batting an eye. I am certain this tactic would not work for any other small business. It is important to note, however, that the state is currently in the arena business. We own the Bradley Center. As such, over $100 million in repairs will be needed within the next decade. The current deal will eliminate this obligation.

This is not "Miller Park 2.0". There is an end date - 20 years; there is a minimal state taxpayer investment - $70-80 million; and there is a guaranty that if the Bucks pack up and leave, they will be on the hook for making the state whole again. In addition, generated tax revenue will be a minimum of $6.7 million per year. A $6.7 million dollar return on a less than $4 million dollar annual investment is nothing to balk at. Although our area businesses may not see the immediate economic impact of hotel room bookings and restaurants abuzz from a game at the complex, the overall tax burden for all of you, my constituents, will be impactful. In the end, I will do what is in the best interest of the 59th Assembly District, hold my nose as a fiscal, ideological conservative and vote yes for a new Milwaukee Bucks arena.

Respectfully Submitted,

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Rep. Jesse Kremer