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New ‘jock tax’ proposal for Bucks arena stirs up controversy

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- There's a new proposal when it comes to paying for the new arena in Milwaukee. A new state report suggests using income tax paid by NBA players and team employees could be one way to pay off a new arena for the team. Some estimate the so-called "jock tax" would generate about $10.7 million a year.

Friday, FOX6 News learned building a new arena may have a new hurdle. Not because of the price tag, but because of a presidential visit right before the election.

The Bucks say they will release plans for a new downtown arena in less than 60 days.

A group of friends from Neenah no longer all live in the same part of the country. But each year, they return to Milwaukee to kick-off a sports themed reunion. When it comes to discussion about the sports arena across the street from their restaurant, the group agrees, we need a new one.

As a debate swirls about how to pay for an arena, is it possible a recent presidential visit is making it more difficult?

"When you are in the middle of campaign and have a lot of people go and do anything political when you are going to go and ask for tax payer subsidies, is probably not such a smart idea," said Vos.

Vos says he wants to keep the Bucks in Milwaukee. But political visits are not making his job to convince law makers across the state any easier.

The liberal group, One Wisconsin Now, has requested Vos be criminally investigated for breaking a state law that does not allow any political moves to be made, based on political donations.

Vos calls the request political mischief. The lawmaker says he was just simply being honest.

"I want to be honest with folks and say this is not a slam dunk," said Vos.

For the sports fans, they want politics out of it. They say, the most important thing -- finding a way to get it done.

Vos says a new arena is an economical one. If the team leaves, the state will lose more than $12 million in just income tax from the players. He says those are numbers he can sell to other lawmakers.

Vos himself says the decision about an arena should be about numbers, not politics.

7 comments

  • Poroted

    Have you read the proposal? This isn’t taking your tax money it’s talking withholding taxes from players and employees from ALL NBA teams and using them to pay. Sure, now cheapo Wisconsinites are going to complain about that tax money being used, but this is money that only exists in the state because of the Bucks.

    • John

      Yeah, right. Just like we’ve been lied to a million times before! I don’t care HOW they sugar coat it, or spin it, they are going to jam it down our throats just like ‘ol “Stick it to ’em” Tommy did with that stadium- that we are STILL PAYING FOR!!! Take your minimum wage jobs, and put them REALLY FAR UP!

    • Sharon Devitt

      Think about it…if all the tax money goes into a big pile, then it’s OUR tax money. Taking some out of the pile or inversely NOT putting the tax money in affects us all. Money can only be spent once, the money that could have funded something important won’t be because we didn’t put the money in the common pile. The rich man’s pile is big enough, let them pay pay pay to play play play.

  • Bob S.

    1/26 news report Walker to announce ” it “. Atrocious sleight of hand – – ” makers ‘ across the state will get stuck. Let Co.,City, owners and users pay for it.

    Bob S.

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