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09-20-2012, 05:06 PM
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the TNSE deal and the subsidy article that was published in the Free Press last year rasie a bunch of points that on close consideration, are not a big deal to many Winnipegers and Manitobans.

1) the ticket tax that is collected and then given back

I'm not sure why it's done this way instead of TNSE just having a higher ticket price and no tax. I've never really understood it so it must be some accounting thing. the ticket tax is only for events at MTS centre so it's not like it's being collected elsewhere and not refunded.... and very few events at MTS centre could be held elsewhere in the city, or would even come to Winnipeg at all if it wasn't TNSE and MTS centre bringing them in. that 5.8M of the 11M.

so now we're talking about the other 5M.

2) the buisness tax refund of 250,000 is a big shrug from me. it's not that much money, so who cares.

3) the property tax 'refund' has to do with how the propoerty is designated. as it is, it's cheap. the 800,000 extra is easily made up by the increased value of all the property around the MTS centre. e.g., there is no way the fancy hotel across the street gets made without the MTS centre. is it a net loss for the city... maybe slightly. but the property was an 'abandoned' building not worth much of anything when it was turned into the MTS centre. so... how much are city taxpayers really losing when you think about it. it's money that could come in if things were designated differently, but definitely wouldn't without the MTS centre, and woudl be less if the investment in the arena wasn't made.

4) the VLT money. this is the one that really seems to be the potential subsidy. but again, it's not like it's really coming out of city taxpayers dollars. they're not taking property tazes and diverting it to the Jets here. these are people going to Jets games spending money on VLTs and TNSE keeps more of it than other VLT venders keep. THe biggest issue with this woudl be if VLT revenues across the city did not change and they were simply redirected to TNSE where they keep a larger share. if VLT revenues went up, due to an addition of funds at TNSE controlled VLTS, then it's tough to call this a net loss to the city or province as well.

I try to contrast this to a situation where general funds money in the city or provinces coffers would be redirected to TNSE. like taking property taxes or sales tax money and giving it to TNSE.

Add to this the fact that I lived here for 3 years before the MTS centre and thought i hd moved into the black hole. Almost nothing came through these parts. it was a cultural desert when it came to acts that would play in an arena. Apparently more acts had come through the old arena back in the day. Do Winnipegers think the arena was worth it now? I actually do not know of a single person who has ever had anything negative to say about the way the arean was financed. was it worth the 40 million in public funding? the return on investment (and I'm not talking dollars here, I odn't really know that) has been well worth it.

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