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January 29, 2015

Governor Walker pushes ‘jock tax’ to raise money for Bucks arena

Governor Scott Walker delivers his fifth state of the state address. 1/1315 (PHOTO: Jackie Johnson)

Governor Scott Walker delivers his fifth state of the state address.  (PHOTO: Jackie Johnson)

Governor Scott Walker proposes a tax on NBA players to raise money for a new Milwaukee Bucks arena.

The so-called “Pay Their Way” plan would tax the income of Milwaukee Bucks players as well as visiting team athletes. Governor Scott Walker made his announcement in Milwaukee Tuesday morning, saying his plan would generate revenue to pay back $220 million in bonding for a new arena. “Our plan is simple. We’re gonna help the Milwaukee Bucks pay their own way to a new arena and we’re gonna include it in our budget next week.”

Walker explained the funding plan would grow the state economy and protect Wisconsin taxpayers from losing out on tax revenue generated by the Milwaukee Bucks that would be lost if the team should leave the state — nearly $10 million per year in income tax collections alone.

Walker said people across the state should support the plan, because his proposal is much bigger than the Bucks or Milwaukee. “It has all those benefits, so I’m not under-selling those, but really my primary purpose for doing this is to protect an existing revenue stream and not add a new liability to state government.” He stressed his plan will not add any burden to taxpayers. “No new taxes, no sales tax, no income tax, no local option tax, no food and beverage tax.” Walker emphasized there is “not a penny of new taxes” nor will any money come out of the current revenue stream. “It’s all based on growth.”

If the Bucks were to be sold, the revenue from that sale would first go to pay back these appropriation bonds. Walker called his plan the “fiscally conservative way” to fund the arena.

Woodson signs with Raiders for another season

Charles Woodson

Charles Woodson

Former Green Bay Packers safety Charles Woodson will play an 18th season in the National Football League.  Woodson, who turns 39-years-old in October, signed a one-year contract extension with the Oakland Raiders.

Woodson showed few signs of slowing down last season.  He played in all 16 games and led the Raiders in tackles with 160, including 105 solo tackles and four interceptions.

Woodson is an 8-time Pro Bowl player who was named an alternate this past season.  He played for the Packers from 2006 through 2012.

The only defensive back to start a game at age 39 or older is Hall of Famer Darrell Green, who played until he was 42.

Packers add competition for Masthay

Tim Masthay

Tim Masthay

After a sub par 2014 season for punter Tim Masthay, the Green Bay Packers are adding some competition to the position by signing former Alabama punter Cody Mandell.

Mandell was cut by the Dallas Cowboys on Aug. 9.  During his senior season at Alabama, in 2013, Mandell was named to the all-SEC team and was a semifinalist for the Ray Guy Award.

Masthay finished 30th in net average (37 yards), 26th in gross average (44.1) and 32nd in punts inside the 20-yard line (14). [Read more…]

UWM Panthers blown out by Valparaiso

Milwaukee Panthers logoThe UW-Milwaukee Panthers fell behind 19-3 and were never in the game, falling to Valparaiso 73-48 in Indiana on Monday night.

The Panthers (7-14, 2-5 Horizon League), hit just 1 of 17 from beyond the three-point arc.

Valparaiso (19-4, 6-2) led 39-16 at halftime.

Crusaders sophomore Alec Peters scored 24 points in 24 minutes of playing time, hitting 10 of 14 from the field.  Peters and the rest of his teammates shot 56% from the field for the game as they climbed to within a half game of the first place Green Bay Phoenix in Horizon League play.

Matt Tiby had 15 points, scoring in double digits in each of his last 12 games.  That matches the longest stretch of his career.

Badgers are 5th in AP Top 25

MotionW_2ColorThe Wisconsin Badgers (18-2, 6-1 Big Ten) moved to 5th in this week’s A.P. Top 25 men’s college basketball poll.

The Badgers are coming off of Saturday’s 69-64 overtime win over the Michigan Wolverines in Ann Arbor.

Wisconsin is off until Saturday when they face the Iowa Hawkeyes for a second time this season, this time in Iowa City.  The Badgers beat the Hawkeyes in Madison, 82-50 last week.

Kentucky is number one again this week, followed by Virginia, Gonzaga and Duke at number 4.  After the Badgers at number-5 are Arizona, Villanova, Notre Dame, Kansas and Louisville.

New in the AP Top 25 poll this week is Georgetown at #21, Miami at #23 and Butler at #25.  Falling out of the Top 25 are Iowa, Seton Hall and Dayton.