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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tax payers fund questionable Royals expenses

Royals using taxpayer money to pay their taxes? Tip of the hat to Deadspin.

The Royals have received at least $12.7 million from taxpayers that was approved by the Jackson County Sports Complex Authority as part of the RMMO provision of the team’s lease with the county and spent it on full and part time employee salaries, security, cable tv, first aid, utilities, telephones and even payroll taxes.  By using the money for payroll taxes, the team literally collected taxpayer money to pay their own taxes. The Sports Authority approved the expenses and operates separately from Jackson County government.

Gamingboy Posted: July 31, 2012 at 08:32 PM | 27 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: business, royals

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   1. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 31, 2012 at 09:47 PM (#4197677)
some of those totals look more than a bit curious. i remember during an acquisition a few years ago the average plant of about 100,000 climate conditioned space had a $30,000 a month utility bill. and that plant was open 24/5 and sometimes over the weekend. and ran heavy equipment

oh well, nice gig if you can get the pols to toss you cash
   2. Bob Tufts Posted: July 31, 2012 at 10:24 PM (#4197716)
Frank McCourt just called the Glass family and said "tag, you're it!"
   3. tshipman Posted: August 01, 2012 at 12:35 AM (#4197774)
Money is fungible. Any deal in which a stadium is built with taxpayer funds could be described as collecting taxpayer money to pay their own taxes. It's not like the Glasses keep money in a complicated system of mason jars.
   4. TerpNats Posted: August 01, 2012 at 12:50 AM (#4197781)
This has been up for more than four hours, and no one has yet cracked a Jeff Francoeur joke under "questionable Royals expenses"? I'm amazed.
   5. Fancy Pants Handle doesn't need no water Posted: August 01, 2012 at 02:37 AM (#4197801)
Tax payers fund questionable Royals expenses

As a Briton, this is the norm.
   6. Benji Posted: August 01, 2012 at 03:54 AM (#4197813)
And the Wilpons whistle past another graveyard.
   7. The Fallen Reputation of Billy Jo Robidoux Posted: August 01, 2012 at 08:55 AM (#4197858)
$657,838 in "supplies" could mean just about anything. Not sure if that thought means I'm a cynic, or just an attorney.
   8. Swedish Chef Posted: August 01, 2012 at 09:02 AM (#4197865)
$657,838 in "supplies" could mean just about anything. Not sure if that thought means I'm a cynic, or just an attorney.

An R&D departement in a sprawling multinational company I'm rather familiar with hid a thousand unauthorized consultants under the label of "supplies" in the expense column. There were strong words after discovery.
   9. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 01, 2012 at 09:10 AM (#4197873)
This is a textbook example of how to write something that looks like an indictment but contains no actual wrongdoing. Use of the phrases "questionable", "culture of looseness", "rubber stamping", et cetera. Reference to them "literally" doing something which would not be at all surprising without the "literally". Same deal with listing things that are purportedly inappropriate but seem fine to me, ending with "and even payroll taxes" to make it clear that payroll taxes are inappropriate. Constant invocation of "taxpayers". Implication that money received from the government of Jackson County, Missouri, and money paid to the U.S. government, cancels out in an amusing way.

Repeated references to people making the suspicious and nefarious decision to not return a call, including the amusing sentence "JCSCA Executive Director Jim Rowland did not immediately return a call". Did Rowland return the call, but fail to do so within the specified ninety seconds? You decide.
   10. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 01, 2012 at 09:21 AM (#4197879)
Good points Crispix. Kietzman is known to be a sensationalist rabble-rouser. He's a sports talk radio host who has been beating the downtown stadium drum for five years and has been extremely critical of the decision to renovate Kauffman Staduim rather than building new, and many suspect its because he and his business partners own downtown property that would benefit greatly from a downtown stadium. When called upon this, he did not immediately return a call.

On another note, I have no idea why the Stadium Authority exists other than to give well-connected people luxury suites at Arrowhead and Kauffman Stadiums. They have their own little fiefdom with little to no accountability.
   11. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 01, 2012 at 09:29 AM (#4197891)
How do I get my landlord to pay me money for renting my apartment? I gotta start thinking like a rich guy.
   12. Bob Tufts Posted: August 01, 2012 at 09:43 AM (#4197905)
And Deadspin has a story that the KC Chiefs are also doing the same thing.

I had a long discussion with Don Fehr regarding public funding of stadia a few years ago. He was against funding for public policy reasons, despite the fact that making ownership pay more of the construction costs could lead to lower salaries.

   13. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 01, 2012 at 09:49 AM (#4197910)
Don Fehr regarding public funding of stadia a few years ago. He was against funding for public policy reasons


Cool. My opinion of him just went way up.
   14. The Fallen Reputation of Billy Jo Robidoux Posted: August 01, 2012 at 09:57 AM (#4197913)
This is a textbook example of how to write something that looks like an indictment but contains no actual wrongdoing.


Agreed. It should take no effort to link or scan the documents one cites, so I'm always wary when I don't know the context. It does not help that the Authority's website appears to have been last updated in 2010: http://www.jcsca.org/

We also don't know what standards (if any) the Authority is supposed to use when evaluating the Royals' requests.
   15. Bob Tufts Posted: August 01, 2012 at 10:25 AM (#4197929)
Since sports teams (with the exception of the Packers) are not publicy held in the U.S., we know little about their actual financial status. If teams ask for money from the public till, their books should be made completely available to the public that is paying for it - and a forensic audit should be required as item # 1 in the political process.
   16. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 01, 2012 at 10:27 AM (#4197933)
It's funny that since no one really cares about the MLS they've had to privately finance their stadiums and yet the stadiums keep getting built. Weird how that works.
   17. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 01, 2012 at 10:43 AM (#4197945)
I am outraged that a publicly subsidized stadium meant to financially benefit a private sports team has ended up being used by a private sports team to their financial benefit!
   18. The Fallen Reputation of Billy Jo Robidoux Posted: August 01, 2012 at 11:14 AM (#4197984)
I am outraged that a publicly subsidized stadium meant to financially benefit a private sports team has ended up being used by a private sports team to their financial benefit!


It's like they planned this ALL ALONG.
   19. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: August 01, 2012 at 11:17 AM (#4197987)

This does not invalidate his larger point, but I only see $200k on that list that is exclusively being used for payroll taxes. There is another ~$500k that is being used for "Payroll, Taxes and Benefits" but the payroll tax component of that is likely only about 6-7%.
   20. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: August 01, 2012 at 11:24 AM (#4197996)

#9 - whether something is wrong/illegal or not, it still may be of concern to voters and taxpayers who are unaware of it and bringing it to their attention is a good thing.

I do agree on your critique of the "did not immediately return a call" formulation that seems to have become more common in the digital age. Especially when you're not talking about breaking news and there's no pressing reason not to give the person time to respond before filing your story.
   21. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 01, 2012 at 11:24 AM (#4197997)
It's like they planned this ALL ALONG.

I think the outrage is that the public wasn't properly informed that not only were they going to refurbish the stadium, but that the refurbishing, seemingly, will never end. This is an old, old story, though. Instead of history text books they should just make high school kids read Robert Caro.
   22. bobm Posted: August 01, 2012 at 12:34 PM (#4198086)
[8].
$657,838 in "supplies" could mean just about anything. Not sure if that thought means I'm a cynic, or just an attorney.

An R&D departement in a sprawling multinational company I'm rather familiar with hid a thousand unauthorized consultants under the label of "supplies" in the expense column. There were strong words after discovery.


Surprise! :)
   23. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: August 01, 2012 at 01:04 PM (#4198111)
I hate when Obama-loving socialists like the Glass family and Albert Belle suck on the public teat.
   24. Bob Tufts Posted: August 01, 2012 at 02:01 PM (#4198182)
I hate when Obama-loving socialists like the Glass family and Albert Belle suck on the public teat.


Don't tell Logan Morrison about this!
   25. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: August 01, 2012 at 02:15 PM (#4198203)
Nice thread linking, Bob!
   26. Walt Davis Posted: August 01, 2012 at 06:11 PM (#4198451)
How do I get my landlord to pay me money for renting my apartment?

Just tell him that if he doesn't, you won't be able to bring in high-priced talent (don't tell the GF!) and may even be contracted. Then have Bud Selig give him a phone call.
   27. Walt Davis Posted: August 01, 2012 at 09:42 PM (#4198558)
Jeff Francoeur

Hand't checked out his numbers in a while and ... we've got to start a Frenchy watch.

He's at -2.8 WAR this year.

The all-time record (for hitters at least) is -4.1 (Royster 1977 and some guy on the Browns) so he's got a shot at it.

Other comps -- Adam Dunn last year was only -3. The Royals record is Lou Piniella at -3.4 in 1973 so he's got a real shot at that.

I know, I know, the buying pizza thing was really cool but let's not take our eye off the ball!

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