I'm stealing the press release from SLCSpin, who was the first to break this.
May 3, 2006
Contact: Peter Corroon, Mayor—468-3333/468-3380
Stadium Proposal Turned Down
Mayor Peter Corroon today announced his decision to deny ReAL Salt Lake’s request for $35 million in public financing for land purchase and infrastructure improvements for the soccer stadium site near 9400 South State Street in Sandy. “The numbers just don’t work for Salt Lake County,” says Mayor Corroon. “To get $35 million, we’d have to bond for $48.5 million and end up paying back $87.5 million over the life of the loan.”
County funding for the land purchase would have been generated through the legislatively approved extension of the 1.25% of the Transient Room Tax (TRT), which was to expire in 2015.
TRT, charged to consumers for overnight accommodations in hotels and motels, is used by the county for the Salt Palace Convention Center, South Towne Exposition Center and major funding for the Salt Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau’s tourism and convention promotion programs.
“ReAL Salt Lake is a great addition to our community and I hope an alternative funding source is possible,” says Mayor Corroon. He adds that one possibility, if ReAL wants to put the issue before the voters, is a general obligation bond that would go on the ballot in November.
“The problem comes from attempting to give $35 million to ReAL now, when the major repayment source doesn’t start for almost 10 years,” says Darrin Casper, County Chief Financial Officer. “It is just too costly.”
Ten-year interest only payments do not meet Salt Lake County’s internal debt policies and do not match Mayor Corroon’s conservative fiscal practices. “Spending an additional $18 million up front for interest payments is not a good use of taxpayer money,” says Mayor Corroon.