Travelers: Deadbeats | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Travelers: Deadbeats

Posted By on Thu, May 24, 2007 at 8:54 AM

Great story by Cindy Murphy in this morning's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Turns out, for decades, the Arkansas Travelers never paid the required city burger tax on concession sales at Ray Winder Field. At least not until 2005. As it happens, the decision had been made then to move the team to North Little Rock.

Nobody asked, says Travs' GM Bill Valentine of the failure to remit. I'll try to leave Kroger tomorrow without paying and see if that nobody-asked excuse flies should a cop stop me.

You can read between the lines easily enough. The Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau had a flexible policy for years in enforcing tax collections. When the Travs ditched LR, the tax policy tightened up. It's crazy, of course. The collection policy should be the same for everyone. The city shouldn't be in the business of deciding either 1) who gets breaks or 2) which deadbeats are allowed to workout past-due bills. If  the city wants to give a subsidy to a tourism lure, which CVB seems to have done for the Travelers, it should vote the subsidy, not hide it in unauthorized, under-the-table tax breaks.

Presumably somebody in NLR has asked for the burger tax at the new ballpark. You may be sure the state has been collecting its sales tax from the Travs.

 


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