May 18th Ballpark

Expanding the DIF is Irrelevant

 Any way you slice it the taxpayers will make the bond payments on the Polar Park Bonds.    Last week when GoLocalProvidence said we were late on the bond payments, that was ridiculous!!!!

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Remember how this $175,000,000 ballpark was sold to the taxpayers??? 

We are going to create a zone around the park (DIF), whereby

  • All the increase real estate taxes from the private development will go direct to the bond payments
  • Lease payments from the tenant at the ballpark go to the bond payments
  • Ancillary revenues like parking go to bond payments
We are going to see so much revenue from these 3 sources that we will not have to take any monies out of the General Fund.   The term used was called "revenue neutral".   
 
In other words this $175,000,000 investment will cost the taxpayers nothing.
 
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Flash forward.  
 
  1. The revenues from the DIF do not cover the bond payments
  2. How short are we??  We don't know
  3. The shortage comes out of the General Fund.
  4.  Project is not "revenue neutral".
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The only reason you would increase the DIF zone would be to increase revenues from the DIF so you can say that the project is still "revenue neutral".   If you increase the DIF, however, you are taking revenues away from the General Fund.   
 
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 The City has assured that no current taxpayer money will be used to fund the construction of Polar Park and is using bonds instead, claiming that the rent and additional income from Polar Park will pay them off . Additionally, the City and the Worcester Red Sox have reached a Community Benefits Agreement with the Worcester Community-Labor Coalition and have committed to local hiring,
local sourcing, environmental protections and accessibility.
 
Even so, some are concerned that the deal is excessively favorable for the developers involved and that Worcester (and taxpayers by extension) assumes all risk in case the project does not go as  planned.
 



Comments

Anonymous said…
Both Delta flights tomorrow sold out.
FLL-ORH sold out too.
Common Sense said…
If they did some marketing they could probably fill three more flights a day.
Anonymous said…
Nevermind, it was sold out yesterday but then it got cancelled.
Anonymous said…
The 016 and WBJ reported on the City's bond rating from Fitch yesterday. Fitch held the City's rating at the same level which is a good thing but if you read their report it seems like the City admitted to Fitch that they will have to subsidiize the ball park bond payment from the general fund but don't say how much but that it is manageable. Fitch was supplied spreadsheets depicting the subsidies. It looks like you and the WBJ have been correct in questioning the City's contentions that the project will pay for itself. Now the question is how much of a subsidy is required. The troubling part of this situation is how the City tells one story to the local media and the general public and a different story to a rating agency.