SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Money and politics will collide once again this week over the price of the proposed Downtown Plaza Sacramento Kings arena.
The city treasurer will report to the city council his debt payment plan — including how much money a year Sacramento will need to pay for the Kings’ new home.
Councilmember Kevin McCarty is already offering his scrutiny.
The fanfare has been fun, but the debate over the details is about to begin.
“What’s this going to cost the city of Sacramentro?” asks McCarty.
McCarty has voted against every step of the proposed publicly funded arena. Now the city treasurer’s detailed arena debt financing plan will be in front of the city council for the first time.
“The key questions after all that noise is, ‘how much will this cost us every year for 35 years?’ And, ‘how much will it bring in?’ ” said McCarty.
Figures released ahead of the council meeting show the city could need to borrow as much as $304 million to fund its public portion of the arena. That could lead to annual payments starting at $17.5 million a year, then $19.9 million a year, and even higher by 2034.
“Some people are saying it’s not a subsidy, it’s an investment. Well what are we getting in return?” said McCarty.
Sacramento Kings owners have submitted blueprints showing plans for 1.5 million square feet of mixed use development near the arena. It’s a development arena supporters say will unlock a long-blighted section of downtown and create a new tax base bringing more money to Sacramento.
Supporters say the proposed arena is bigger than basketball; but so far, McCarty isn’t buying it.
“The question we ought to be asking is, ‘what do we expect in return?’ Put it on a piece of paper, show us,” he said.
Meanwhile, Sacramento Taxpayers Opposing Pork wants to force a vote on the arena’s public funding, and has until Tuesday to turn in the needed 22,000 signatures to the city clerk. The clerk will then have 30 days to validate the signatures.
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