What happens when an NBA team wants to steal tax dollars in order to pay for arena renovations, but the county it wants to steal from is literally out of money? Does the billionaire who owns the team just go ahead and pay for the renovations himself? Of course not!
The Cleveland Cavaliers want to spend $140 million making improvements to their arena, and they have asked Cuyahoga County to cover half of the bill. That’s a problem for the county, which is currently carrying $1 billion in debt and was described as having its “credit card maxed out” by county executive Armond Budish last fall.
This hasn’t deterred Budish and the Cavs from seeking a taxpayer handout. According to Cleveland Scene, Brudish is now asking Destination Cleveland, a publicly funded tourism agency that draws revenue from hotel and tourism taxes, to help pay for the arena upgrades.
It remains to be seen if Destination Cleveland will agree to allocate some of its tax revenue towards the arena upgrades. Given the fact that Cavs CEO Len Komoroski sits on the board of Destination Cleveland, I’d say there’s a good chance his team ends up getting its hands on those tax dollars.