Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Oakland Tries to Hijack Coliseum Revenue

By Robert Gammon
Tue, Jul 7, 2009 at 10:21 AM

The City of Oakland is attempting to hijack revenue from the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum that traditionally has gone to Alameda County. According to the Trib, Oakland's budget, officially adopted last week, calls for the city to begin collecting an 18.5 percent tax on Coliseum parking. The city is entitled to the implement the tax, but for years has chosen not to. But now the city needs the money to help solve its fiscal crisis. The only problem is that under lease agreements with the A's and the Raiders, the sports teams are allowed to deduct any such tax from their rent payments. That means the amount of rent coming to the city and county will be reduced. The city will make up the loss by collecting the tax, but the

county will be out of luck - and money.

Not surprisingly, the county has decided to sue the city over the tax. And if the county wins, the city will have to find another way to balance its budget. County officials also have indicated that they're not happy with the city's plan to add a 10 percent tax on ticket sales at the Coliseum and Oracle Arena on top of the existing 5 percent tax. That plan requires the approval of the joint city-county panel that runs the Coliseum and Arena. As for sports fans, the A's announced that they will immediately raise the cost of parking by $2 to pay for the city's new parking tax.

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