Using Sales Taxes to Build Stadiums?

What are your thoughts on paying more sales tax to fund special projects?

April 2024

New Yorkers pay a lot of sales tax.  In fiscal year 2022-2023, New Yorkers paid $19.5 billion dollars in state sales tax plus excise and use taxes; this includes other taxes such as the alcoholic beverage tax and cigarette stickers.

These funds are used on all sorts of programs and projects.  One of those projects is a new stadium for Buffalo’s professional football team.  Specifically, taxpayers are estimated to pay $850 million of the $1.7 billion dollars to build and maintain the stadium once it opens.  The stadium is planned to open in 2026.

However, taxpayers in Kansas City felt less inclined to pitch in for a new baseball stadium.  Taxpayers had been paying a 3/8-cent sales tax to help upkeep the existing baseball and football stadiums for over 50 years.  A vote to extend that sales tax to 2064 to help fund the stadium lost a vote 58% to 42%.  As of now, that 3/8-cent sales tax rate will expire in 2031 when both the lease for the professional football team and professional baseball team are set to expire.  Whether a resolution can be found or if the teams will relocate remains to be seen.

When additional funding is being sought, consumption taxes like sales tax are a popular suggestion.  While regressive in nature since they take a larger proportion of a low-income taxpayers’ funds, individuals who consume a lot pay a lot.  In theory, consumption taxes also encourage savings, unlike income tax that penalizes savers.

What do you think about sales tax?  Do you think additional sales taxes should be levied to fund special projects?  Would you be willing to pay more sales tax to help support a stadium for your local professional sports teams?  We’d love to hear from you!

Helping a Sick Taxpayer

Life can take an unexpected turn for the worse.  A taxpayer owning a framing company had been running a successful business for years.  Unfortunately, she became very ill with a kidney disease.  She was awaiting a new kidney and in the meantime, medical treatment took over her life.

Being away from her business led to all sorts of operational and recordkeeping issues.  Those issues came to a head once the business was selected for a sales tax audit.  While the auditor was sympathetic, certain information still needed to be provided.

Sales Tax Defense LLC worked with the client’s accountant to gather and provide all the necessary documentation to the auditor and negotiate a settlement that allowed the business to survive.  We also helped put new procedures in place so that the business could run smoothly while its owner attended to her pressing medical needs.