Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Real Salt Lake topping out? More like topping off

You know when you're at the gas station and the pump clicks to indicate that the tank is full, but some people go ahead and press the handle anyway, wanting to squeeze every drop of gas into that tank? That's what Dave Checketts and Real Salt Lake remind us of.

Yesterday, Real Salt Lake held a "topping out" ceremony, celebrating the placement of the last piece of steel on the Greg J. Curtis Memorial Soccer Stadium. It should have been called a topping off ceremony, though, because Checketts is still trying to squeeze every drop of taxpayer money into his tank.

Salt Lake County has already been forced by the Utah legislature to hand over $35 million in hotel taxes that could have been used to promote tourism and etc. Now Checketts wants it to fork over another $4.6 million in future sales tax. If it won't, RSL will also lose $3 million from Sandy taxpayers and $1.2 million from the public library system. Aw.

"That's a really important part of the stadium financing - it has been from the beginning," Checketts whined yesterday. RSL needs $10 million more in tax dollars to come in "on time" and "on budget." On your budget, you mean. It's not our fault if you counted on money that wasn't guaranteed. Considering the unenthusiasm with which you got the first $35 million, why did you think the County would voluntarily give up another $5 million? Because it's been treated so well by Sandy?

Better tell Curtis to start dialing, Dave; you'll have to make up your budget shortfall somewhere else.

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