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.