You’re Paying For the Qwest (But Don’t Expect a Discount on Tickets)

May 24, 2007 at 12:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Lincoln was axed from the so-called Qwest Center Bill, so Lincoln’s proposed arena and/or convention center won’t see any tax assistance for now. Senator Bill Avery and others hope to change that next year. For now, about $1.4 million that could have gone to programs across the state will now be funneled to the Qwest to pay off construction bonds. Funny, I don’t recall the Qwest’s supporters including a discussion of the facility’s reliance on state tax support when they made their pitches before it was built.

Norfolk Senator Mike Flood proposed the bill. Why is a Senator from Norfolk spearheading a bill that benefits Omaha? Senator Flood says that the Qwest is a “gem for all Nebraskans”, and that the Qwest deserves state tax support because Nebraskans from across the state use the facility. I don’t follow. Why should every Nebraskan have to help subsidize private interests through the use of public funds? Shouldn’t those who use the facility be the ones to pay for it?

Lincolnites need to think about these issues because we will be dealing with them very soon. How much tax support as a Lincolnite or a Nebraskan are you willing to give to the proposed arena and/or convention center? For how long?

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The Comments

Neal May 24, 2007 at 3:32pm

This is the issue that EVERY city faces when they build a big arena / convention center and claim “Oh it’ll totally pay for itself!” THEY NEVER DO. And it’s always the taxpayers who subsidize the developers and contractors who had a hand in building and operating the thing.

Dave K May 25, 2007 at 5:22am

I’m glad for the Qwest, and possible Lincoln arena, because it gives Neal and I something to agree on.  It would take the city of Lincoln 10,000 years to pay off the arena and the rest of the things they want to do to ‘Haymarket West’.  By then, we’ll all be dead from global warming or Hillary’s presidency, so it won’t matter anyways.

As for Mike Flood, he may be setting up support for state funds for ‘arena’ use for when Lincoln needs theirs.  Then he can act as the hero and run for the 1D Congressional seat when Fortenberry runs for Nelson’s Senate seat in ‘12.  That may be stretching it, but who knows.

Fletch May 28, 2007 at 1:13am

Good lord, I agree with Neal too. Beware the locusts!

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