Madison – Today State Senator Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee) released the following statement regarding his vote against the proposed financing for a new Buck’s Arena.
“The trust I have built over the last 31 years as a legislator is built upon the foundation that my constituents know that I will work to protect the best interests of those I represent.
Today, I voted against SB 209, the Bucks arena funding proposal, because in my heart I do not believe that this bill was in the best interests of my constituents.
I am a Bucks fan, and I have had season tickets; I’ve attended more games than I can remember, and I hope to continue to do so in the future. The Bucks are an asset to our community and our state and I hope they continue to be.
The path this bill took did not respect the open legislative process it needed. I have been consistent with my calls for this process to be opened up to not only to insiders and the legislative leaders, but also to the general public, specifically those who will be impacted in my district. Which is why I called for caucus to be opened today.
I have repeated calls for a legislative public hearing on this bill in Milwaukee so my constituents could have the opportunity to have their voices heard.
In the Joint Legislative Committee on Tax Exemptions committee to day I introduced the following two amendments which were rejected by the majority party.
1. The sales tax be imposed upon the rental of luxury boxes at the arena, and the money raised be used to pay for the arena;
2. A ticket surcharge be imposed to raise $4 million per year to be used to pay for the arena
I have publicly stated – repeatedly – that the burden of paying for the construction of the new arena should fall on those who would benefit from its construction. This bill failed to live up to this basic requirement, and I could not in the end support it.”