It Depends On What The Meaning Of The Word “Is” Is

25 Oct

Mayor Stephen Mandel dances on “taxes”:

“If we do (build a new structure), we need to be creative and not burden the taxpayers.” –Dec. 22, 2006

“…we’re not going to burden our taxpayers with a $400-million or $300-million debt to have a new facility. That just won’t happen.” –Feb. 22, 2007

As for who is paying for this new arena, Best, Bouma and Mandel all indicated that taxpayers will have to chip in for at least part of the cost. “But I don’t want it digging into taxpayers’ pockets all the time,” Mandel said. –April 24, 2007

“I have said from the beginning the citizens of Edmonton can’t fund this arena on their own nickel,” said Mandel. “I have got some ideas how it can be financed that wouldn’t require any city money, and I think it can be done creatively, with limited amounts of public dollars, but to say no tax dollars — that would be irresponsible.” –April 25, 2007

Mayor Stephen Mandel isn’t ruling out using taxpayer dollars to make his dream of a new downtown arena a reality.  –April 25, 2007

Rightly, the mayor insists no city tax dollars will be involved…  –Oct. 10, 2007

“As I’ve said hundreds and hundreds of times before, we just can’t afford to take our municipal tax dollars and put it into an arena.” –Dec. 15, 2007

“I’ve said it a hundred times and I’ll say it another hundred times, we’re not going to raise taxes to pay for this.” –March, 26, 2008

Mayor Stephen Mandel, a booster of the downtown location, has said that there would be no property tax hikes to finance the arena, but the committee is discussing a community revitalization levy to help finance it. –March 29, 2008

“…it has to be funded some way, and we think we have a reasonably creative way of doing it that is not going to involve any current property taxes or grants from other orders of government.” –July 20, 2008

Mandel has ruled out property tax hikes to pay for the arena. But he said recently he has not ruled out improvement levy options, such as allowing the city to essentially borrow against the future value of the developed site to fund the construction. –Aug. 31, 2009

Mayor Stephen Mandel said last week he would be open to using a community revitalization levy in the area surrounding the new building to help pay for some of the facility.

It would work by seeing a portion of taxes paid by new neighbourhood developments set aside for the arena. –Sept. 1, 2009

Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel has said arena funding won’t come out of general revenues. A city committee that looked at Edmonton’s arena situation recommended that there be a 70/30 public-private split on building a $450-million (Cdn) downtown arena.  –Dec. 13, 2009

He repeated his desire to have the city own the arena and help fund construction costs–estimated at $450 million last year–with a community revitalization levy. It would use property taxes generated by development in the area.

“We would not use grant money from the federal government (provided) for other projects. We would not use current city taxes to build the arena.”  –Feb. 11, 2010

…the only acceptable deal is only one that does not divert existing tax or capital dollars. –Feb. 18, 2010

However, Mandel made it clear that he would only support a deal that doesn’t divert existing tax or capital dollars, and can prove that the CRL as a funding model actually works. “I would stress that a CRL is only possible when it goes hand in hand with proof that the revenue streams assumed into a CRL calculation are achievable,” he said, adding he would only consider a city-owned deal if city dollars are to be used to fund the arena. –Feb. 18, 2010

“The public sector isn’t paying for it. The fact of the matter is it’s a $400-million arena. [Oilers owner Daryl] Katz is putting in $100-million. That leaves $300-million. We’ll come up with some sort of a package for a ticket tax, which is probably another $120- to $125-million. That’s generated from people who use the facility — a user fee, which is not, I don’t think, unreasonable.” –July 30, 2010

Mandel’s recipe is the Community Revitalization Levy, a ticket tax, Katz putting in money, and small amounts of support from other orders of government. “Boom! You got an arena.”

I ask Mandel about all those who say they don’t want one penny of taxpayer’s money to go for an arena for millionaire players and a billionaire owner. “I agree with them. I don’t want my money going to them either. All I’m saying is what will go to them is what they can develop within their own complex. And without the arena downtown that wouldn’t happen. So I absolutely agree with those people. I don’t want my money going to a millionaire hockey player. I got to fix roads.” –Oct. 12, 2010

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3 Responses to “It Depends On What The Meaning Of The Word “Is” Is”

  1. The Other John October 28, 2010 at 1:34 pm #

    What I do not understand, and I am sure it is my shortcoming, is that the Mayor keeps saying taxes will not go up. If the ancilliary commercial deveopment does not occur or occur quickly, of course taxes will goup likely with existing programs being cut back as well.

    The funding of the commercial development is not straightforward. The totality of the risk associated with this project lies with the City. Anyone who suggests otherwise is not being disingenuous, they are misstating the facts.

    • Andy Grabia October 29, 2010 at 10:45 am #

      Yup. I’m going to try and write a post on the CRL soon, but it is a tax, it’s a new tax, and it will lead to property tax increases.

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  1. The CRL « Why Downtown? - November 22, 2010

    […] –Mayor Stephen Mandel, March 26, 2008 […]

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