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.