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Sports


Cuyahoga would be first in nation to link tax money to pro team performance
Executive Ed FitzGerald says the plan springs from fan frustration and tax realities
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE


Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
 
FitzGerald announced his proposal to link tax money to playoff appearances at this morning's press conference.
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Cuyahoga County could become the first community in the country to base some of its tax support for pro sports facilities on the wins and losses of the teams that play there. 

That's if county council adopts a proposal announced by county Executive Ed FitzGerald this morning. FitzGerald wants playoff appearances by the Cavs, Indians and Browns to be part of the equation that determines how the county distributes about $50 million from the recently renewed sin-tax. 

FitzGerald acknowledges he’s frustrated by the 50-year dearth in playoff appearances.

 

LISTEN: FitzGerald on competition

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“Maybe in the competitive world of sports it makes sense for us to take a portion of our funding and say, if competition is good on the field, maybe competition between these teams for these public dollars makes sense to incentivize them a little bit more.” 

FitzGerald says the proposal springs from more than just fan frustration because team performance affects attendance, which affects the county’s tax revenues. He also notes that all of the money would still go toward capital improvement projects at the Q, Progressive Field and FirstEnergy Stadium. 

In all, the sin tax is expected to raise $260 million over 20 years. 

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