Columbus l Proposal: teams 'sin tax' $$ on winning

COLUMBUS -- The more games you win, the more sin tax dollars you get.

That is the basis of an outside-the-box idea being proposed by Democratic State Senator and Cuyahoga County Executive Candidate Shirley Smith.

In a statement , Smith said, "Cleveland sports fans have strongly supported the Browns, Indians and Cavaliers through the best and worst of times. But, despite the support of this diehard fan base, Cleveland's major professional sports teams have not won a championship since 1964, long before most residents of Cuyahoga County were born."

Cuyahoga County voters will likely be asked to renew a "sin" tax on cigarettes and alcohol. The money would be used to pay repair and improvement costs for the Q, Progressive Field and First Energy Stadium.

Smith says any investment should comes with strings attached.

"I believe we should reward success by creating an incentive for winning. Before tax dollars are doled out for state-of-the-art scoreboards and other stadium improvements, taxpayers have a right to see a return on their investment. The concept of performance based metrics is not uncommon when tax dollars are invested in other private businesses, so why should professional sports teams be any different?" Smith asked.

Smith says she would introduce any needed legislation to modify the sin tax proposal accordingly.

She does not specify an exact formula. Smith represents the 21st District which includes all three sports facilities.

Smith's proposal was made two days before Sunday's meeting of Democratic city and ward leaders who will decide what executive candidate to recommend the party endorse.


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