Senator Taylor Speaks Out on Bucks Arena

Update: July 10, 2015 1:31 PM – Alderman Robert J. Bauman will host town hall meeting on Tuesday, July 14 at the Milwaukee Public Library’s Centennial Hall from 6-8 PM. Mayor Tom Barrett will deliver presentation on proposal for the new arena (via Dan Shafer of Milwaukee Magazine). Also, State Senator Van Wanggaard (Republican – Racine) says the Senate will meet Tuesday as well for caucus. 

For last night’s update, click here.

This afternoon, Wisconsin State Senator Lena Taylor (Democrat – Milwaukee), considered to be one of the key voters in the Senate for the Bucks arena bill, was on The Bill Michaels Show.

Sen. Taylor started off the show stating that she loves the Bucks; her uncle was a ball boy growing up. She made sure to say that she wants Bucks to be here, but has issues with the bill in its current form.

She went on to say that the Bucks have until October/November of this year to get the deal done, and that the state will take $10 million of the Bradley Center’s debt. But, Taylor understands the benefit of voting next week; it makes it easier for voting purposes if some people are there and some are not, implying that politics are heavily involved in this vote. She thinks they should’ve left the Bucks arena issue in the budget.

She talked to the Wisconsin Center District (WCD) yesterday, and they want a 1% tax  increase on food & beverage for Milwaukee County in order to make this deal work, to make up for the WCD absorbing the debt from building the arena. “It’s fiscally irresponsible not to include the WCD in negotiations,” she claimed, as they told her that they have not been included in the arena talks. She finished off that thought saying that this is good for the state, but it’s not good for Milwaukee County. But, in my opinion, why would you add a tax to this bill that does not raise taxes to begin with?

The bottom line of Sen. Taylor’s opinion is that a compromise is something the Republicans need to make, along with her fiscal worries. She wants the WCD involved since they’re being negotiated about, but have not involved to this point. She wants the 1% tax to help with the arena, and to build a new convention center. But, she talked way more about why the tax will help with a convention center than an arena. Concerning to say the least.

It’s clear that Sen. Taylor is upset about the politics going on with everything, which is impacting decisions on this bill. The whole 1% tax idea seems like just an idea to get in the way of the vote happening (basically an excuse) and the bill being passed in its current form to make a political move against the Republicans. It will be interesting to see what the WCD says in response to Sen. Taylor’s thoughts, considering that Senator Alberta Darling, one of the leaders of this bill, is on the WCD committee.

Sen. Taylor actually called back to mention to Michaels that her biggest concerns stem from fiscal worries, not partisan politics. She mentioned that the 13 years of unpaid interest worries her mightily in this deal, which makes sense. But, wouldn’t we lose even more money, have less jobs, and regret letting the Bucks leave anyway? She didn’t know the exact value we would lose by letting the Bucks walk besides the tax revenues from player salaries.

People in Madison can get things done really fast due to Republican power, she made clear on the show. There’s no doubt that this is Taylor’s chance to control the power and give due process to the bill, even if she denies that her one vote is not difference-making.

Image via @Mario_Tirabassi

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s