Cleveland Pol Wants 'Win Tax' to Prod Losing Teams
Stadium money would be doled out by 'fan council'
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Jun 6, 2014 2:15 PM CDT
A workman leaves the job site at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland where renovation of the 15-year-old home of the Cleveland Browns continues Thursday, June 5, 2014.   (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

(Newser) – Local governments are constantly doling out cash to professional sports teams, and now one Cleveland politician thinks the public deserves to see some wins for its money. Cuyahoga County voters last month extended a "sin tax" on alcohol and cigarettes to pay for stadium upkeep for Cleveland's three major sports teams. Yesterday County Executive and would-be governor Ed FitzGerald proposed distributing some of that money based on the relative success of those teams, an idea he calls the "win tax," the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

The Browns, Cavs, and Indians haven't managed a world championship between them in 50 years. "We love these teams," FitzGerald says. "But we can also try to demand to get something a little bit better than we've gotten." His proposal would set up a "fan advisory council" to determine the criteria for distributing the money. The idea met with what the AP describes as "terse 'no comments'" from the teams. Republicans panned the idea (FitzGerald is a Democrat), with party chairman Rob Frost objecting that it would send the message that Cleveland only supported winners. "That's not how we do things in Cleveland," he reportedly said.

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Jun 8, 2014 9:38 PM CDT
Cleveland fares far better than Buffalo.
Jun 7, 2014 2:06 PM CDT
The Cavs have made it the Finals once in 40+ years, and were completely destroyed by the Spurs when they actually made it. Franchises should not come begging for taxpayer money when they are incapable of actually providing the entertainment they claim is so valuable. If it the Cleveland sports teams were so amazing, then why exactly did the most famous athlete (LeBron) to ever play there leave in his prime, and find even more success elsewhere? There is no excuse for being inept for so long. They know depressed fans will still come and the legislators will reward them when it's time for a new arena, so they float along happily without ever actually trying.
Jun 7, 2014 1:50 PM CDT
No more taxes, if the government can't maintain with the already ridiculous high taxes why give them more? Do you give more crack to a crack addict when he runs out? Government is a cash addict, and until they learn some self restraint and accountability they shouldn't get anymore cash. I don't care where you stand politically, everyone can agree government is run as well as a blind duck can drive.