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COTA denied $20 million in state funding for 2018 F1 race


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#21
Cnj

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So the theory of economic impact goes, but you want to talk about “sketchy”, try digging into the details. Again, I have no knowledge about this particular case except what I’ve just learned here, but it sounds like an actual check is written and that certainly doesn’t come from funds collected directly from a particular event. Very different then from a tax abatement, right? Here the city levies addional “tourism” taxes on hotels and such, is the money coming from something like that? In any case, however they are funded it seems extremely unlikely that the major event program can collect anywhere near $20M from revenues generated by a single F1 weekend. But as I said, it’s never anywhere near that straightforward.

Steve, Google is your friend :)

https://gov.texas.go...t-funds-program

I have a decent amount of knowledge on this issue in part because I was part of the original design (engineering) team on COTA and more generally because I’ve been on the design team of well over 100 major sports and events projects around the USA. I’ve read dozens of the project economic impact prediction reports, and have been around after the project to see what actually happens after opening. You are correct, “it’s never anywhere near that straightforward”.

It’s wildly simplistic for anyone to say that public money should not be part of private endeavors. Nearly every city and state is very actively engaged in private public partnerships. This is how many projects get build, including toll roadways, courthouses, entertainment facilities, city hospitals, and many other elements. Without these partnerships these projects would not exist.

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#22
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Craig, you may have better information on Texas highway 130 85 MPH speed limit.

 

"Was the $100M incentive for a 85 mph limit on SH 130 worth it?"

 

"Video first 30 seconds suggests the 85 MPH speed limit was bought." 

 

https://www.kxan.com...-it-/1581759554


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#23
Steve Scheifler

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Excellent Cnj, thanks! I love it when someone can supply actual facts.

I don’t care enough to spend a lot of time on a deep dive but the link provides a great deal of information if anyone is curious. Looking at the 2017 F1 race report I’d be tempted to question some of their estimates of average spending by category, but at least they do attempt to provide those details and concede some of the limitations of their assumptions and ability to validate them with actual tax revenue data.

I’m not sure I understand this part “Applicants must contribute $1 in local tax gains for every $6.25 the state contributes to the fund.” Is that saying in effect that they can’t get credit for tax revenue collected outside of the actual event in excess of 6.25x the amount collected at the actual event? In other words, if I throw a totally free concert that brings a million people into the state for a week I can’t claim anything from this fund? But to the degree that you do qualify for the 6.25:1 match, you get 100% of that estimated external tax revenue impact?
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#24
LarryKing

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I have loved F1 since I was a child, but let's be real, if it went away 99.9% of Americans wouldn't even notice.


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#25
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I have loved F1 since I was a child, but let's be real, if it went away 99.9% of Americans wouldn't even notice.

I've been interested in F1 since their attempting to reduce overall costs, but mainly to watch the progress of the American Haas f1 team. I get it they have Ferrari part here and there within their car.


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#26
Steve Scheifler

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I have loved F1 since I was a child, but let's be real, if it went away 99.9% of Americans wouldn't even notice.


True.
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#27
Jim Creighton

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After reading all this, it seems it would have been very easy for COTA to follow the rules set by the state. Someone dropped the ball and now COTA is out 20 M. How often do you now hear about people/companies not following the rules and then crying when there are repercussions?

 

They can say the state is using this as an out but had COTA followed the rules, there would be no outs. The solution is follow the rules. Gosh, isn't that kind of like racing?

 

And with 330 M people in the US, I doubt .1 or 3.3 M care about F1. More like 99.99% don't care. But, who cares?


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#28
EricJ

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Your facts are sketchy. The Texas Major Events program is NOT paid for by tax payers. It’s simply a tax abatement/give back from the tax revenues that are generated BY the event. No schools, police, etc are losing their income because of this. Put more simply, if the large sports events did not happen, then the revenue would not occur to generate taxes. It’s not a zero sum game.

CNJ

 

You may want to research your 'facts' a little better. It's not a tax abatement. It is a tax that is collected on hotel/motel and other entertainment industry that funds the Major Event Reimbursement Fund. It is then paid out to COTA based on what the state determines as the economic benefit of the event.

 

https://www.statesma...n-state-funding

 

I don't believe paying the bills for millionaires and billionaires is a proper use for public money.



#29
Steve Scheifler

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Abatement was the wrong term, though note that he actually said abatement/give back from revenues that are generated BY the event. But it’s a lot more than give back, it’s give back * 6.25 which strikes me as exceedingly generous. But his main point was that the “public money” did not (in theory) come from normal/existing tax revenues paid by state residents in the absence of the event. It is revenue FROM the event. So any statement implying that those tax $$ are better spent elsewhere suggests a fundamental lack of understanding. The event exists, and I dare say COTA exists, only because of such incentives. You might not support the deals and there certainly are valid arguments against them, but when you lead with a complete distortion of the facts, intentionally or through ignorance, your arguments will go nowhere and you do your cause a disservice.
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#30
Steve Scheifler

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EricJ, let’s go hypothetical for a minute. I’m not particularly concerned about this specific event but the general topic interests me because I struggle with support for an increasing number of tax abatement and TIF cases in my own community.

Let’s pretend for a moment that the true economic impact of some proposed event can be accurately determined to your satisfaction. Let’s say that said event brings lots of NEW customers and “found” revenue to your local small businesses, provides desirable entertainment to a segment of your local citizenry without negative impact on the rest, provides employment for some number of your locals, generally shines a positive PR spotlight on the community and doesn’t “cost the taxpayers” anything. Would you welcome the organizer of that event or turn them away?

I’m hopeful that your answer is that you would welcome the event. Now, what if the organizers want to cut a deal for a tax-free status so they can keep ticket prices low and be accessible to everyone? Are you still onboard? Ah, but the organizer just got an offer from your neighboring state to kick back a portion of the taxes collected by hotels from people attending the event. Are you willing to match that offer? Everything about this event is still positive for your community and local businesses, you just need to give up some of the ADDITIONAL tax revenue that it creates. You are starting to feel played (you are new at this after all) but other than hating to see the rich guy win there isn’t really a compelling argument to turn him away. What do you do?

Frankly, I hate it, but this is EXACTLY what happens many times every day in every city in SO many different ways. From a tax abatement to a rehabber for renovating a shitbox in a dying neighborhood, to negotiating with Bezos for what amounts to creating an entire small community with 100% employment and disposable income.

I’m all for close scrutiny of every deal, getting the best deals possible and turning away the bad ones. And I’m cynical enough to be certain that isn’t always happening. But every time I see an over-simplified and under-informed statement about how tax dollars should be spent, or giving incentives to the rich, I’m torn between striking out and giving up.
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#31
chris haldeman

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Am I actually reading a thread on a racers forum where some alleged racers are against a state government supporting racing? I am really hoping I am misunderstanding what is being said!!! Cota supports that entire area. It employs the lower income people who are thrilled to have a job. It put Austin on the map for something other than left wing liberals and homosexuals. 20 million is less than the single day tax grab for that city in my best guess. Americans are heavily over taxed and the country was founded fighting against the very same thing. Politicians are rich,workers are poor. The incentive as it may be only accounts for the f1 week. The track is rented and crap as hotels in towns like bastrop Texas are sold out at premium prices every day all year. I was just there on Wednesday and Thursday. I couldn’t get a room inside of 18 miles. I spent countless dollars at every store and food place near by. Guys this is a racing forum owned by a racer and contributed to by racers. For us to continue doing what we all love to do we need race tracks!!! I have seen far too many race tracks close in my life and it needs to stop!! While some in this thread are crying about tax dollars being spent on a race track I would love to know where they would think it should go??? Damn it people we are racers.
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#32
LarryKing

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"human trafficking is a huge problem at all of these large events like super bowl etc. I am assuming prostitution etc?"

And that's just the team owners!
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#33
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"While some in this thread are crying about tax dollars being spent on a race track I would love to know where they would think it should go?"

Universal healthcare?
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#34
OrangeCrush86

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I'm with Chris. If our local government here in MN supported motorsports it would be a damn miracle. My local government blocked a racetrack being built that was FULLY FUNDED because they thought the noise would hurt the Bald Eagles in the area.

 

Any one involved in racing should think twice before condemning external support for race tracks and motorsport because honestly we are in decline and it's more and more a losing battle. I hope they get the 20 million and keep running a world class facility.


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#35
Steve Scheifler

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"While some in this thread are crying about tax dollars being spent on a race track I would love to know where they would think it should go?"

Universal healthcare?


Well, I’ll say this, if you are going to spend money that does not exist in the absence of the track, it may as well be for a noble cause!
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#36
chris haldeman

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health care is already available for everybody all you need to do is get a job and pay for it just like me. America is the land of the free. The word free in that sentence does not equal free stuff it equals free to choose,free to earn,free to succeed,free to fail. Why anybody expects something other than that really confuses me
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#37
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"human trafficking is a huge problem at all of these large events like super bowl etc. I am assuming prostitution etc?"

And that's just the team owners!

Are you inferring Bill Belicheat's boss. A little reading about his recent sex life and five year girlfriend with baby whose he admits is not his is sickening to say the least, similar as reading about some other celebrities. Damn glad racers don't lean that way. :bigsquaregrin:  EDIT: Tongue in cheek Johnny.


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#38
LarryKing

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"The word free in that sentence does not equal free stuff it equals free to choose,free to earn,free to succeed,free to fail."

Exactly! So why should multimillion dollar sports franchises get a government handout?
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#39
Johnny D

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Are you inferring Bill Belicheat's boss. A little reading about his recent sex life and five year girlfriend with baby whose he admits is not his is sickening to say the least, similar as reading about some other celebrities. Damn glad racers don't lean that way. :bigsquaregrin:

 

https://www.dailymai...-Nazi-orgy.html


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#40
chris haldeman

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"The word free in that sentence does not equal free stuff it equals free to choose,free to earn,free to succeed,free to fail."

Exactly! So why should multimillion dollar sports franchises get a government handout?


Because they are only receiving a small portion of the revenue that they generated. With out that track countless people lose their jobs. Track employees paying taxes and spending money. Motels paying taxes and employing people.restaurants paying taxes and employing people.
This is my last response as I generally stay out of all posts in this site.
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