Controller asks teams for payments in lieu of taxes - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Acting City Controller Anthony J. Pokora released an audit Monday suggesting the sports teams make payments to cash-strapped Pittsburgh in lieu of property taxes, which the teams are exempt from paying because their venues are owned by the city-county Sports & Exhibition Authority.Tony went for a release of this news on Monday, following a Sunday night loss by the Steelers.
I don't agree with Tony Pokora. He asks the teams to pay in lieu of taxes. Heck no. The property taxes are just a pimple on the face of the whole stadium saga.
The taxes on the stadiums are not nearly as expensive as the stadiums themselves.
Heck, I'll try to work a tax break to the teams -- once they buy the stadiums. Buy the stadiums. The venues are what should be sold -- not the lieu of taxes.
I want the teams to own their respective venues.
Presently, the Steelers are renters. The Pirates are renters. Even Don Barden is going to own his own building. Don Barden, as an investor in the North Shore, should not be too worried about what the renters might say about traffic and parking.
If the Steelers want to buy Heinz Field -- it is for sale.
PNC Park is for sale.
And the new arena, for the Penguins, should be owned, operated, insured, programmed, updated, maintained, heated and cleaned by the Penguins.