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Officials Respond To Public Records Request On Bengals' New Stadium Deal
#1
The actual documents received are shown at the link

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It is not exaggeration to say that the Cincinnati Bengals’ revised stadium lease with Hamilton County, agreed in November 2018, is still largely secret. Among the many figures that weren’t released at the time the agreement was announced was how much the county—and thus, taxpayers—will be spending to buy land near the stadium to be used for parking and a new indoor practice facility.

It is also not exaggeration to say that Cincinnati has the worst stadium deal in America. As of 2016, taxpayers had spent $920 million to build and operate Paul Brown Stadium, which opened in 2000. That figure is expected to climb well above $1 billion by the conclusion of the lease.

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And so it would not be anywhere near exaggeration to say that it’s very important for citizens to know what’s in this new lease, and how much they’re paying, and that there’s absolutely no reason to trust their county commissioners’ words on the deal without seeing for themselves.

The Cincinnati Enquirer attempted to do just that, filing a public records request, for, well, public records. The paper asked for all documents related to the lease negotiations. They received a whole lot of magic marker.

Six months after the request was filed, county officials sent back 275 pages that had been almost completely blacked out. Every word, other than the date, subject line and names of email recipients, was gone. No noun or verb remained. No punctuation mark survived.

Several pages appeared to contain bullet-point presentations or slide shows, but they, too, were entirely redacted.

[...]

Even page numbers on some of the documents had been redacted.

Here, you can see it for yourself! Government transparency at work.

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There are two other collections of the records, but I think you get the idea from this one.

Hamilton County claimed to the Enquirer that everything had to be redacted because it falls under attorney-client privilege. But as the paper points out, elected officials aren’t allowed to shield their discussions from public view just by copying their attorneys on every single communication, which is what appears to have happened here.

The county’s lawyer in the negotiations insisted to the Enquirer that making public these public documents would “place the county and its taxpayers at a competitive disadvantage.”
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#2
I'll sum it up. The Hamilton County taxpayers got screwed again. I think Mike Brown would have pulled the plug on Cincinnati and moved to a new city without a deal. The stadium is almost 20 years old and still costing much more than planned. Now we get a new soccer stadium. Taxes are going to rise even more.
What's worse? Losing or being behind the Browns!WhoDey2 
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#3
As someone who lives outside of Cincinnati, let me be the 1st to say thanks for keeping our team here with your tax dollars!!!!
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#4
You/We get screwed by some form of taxation every day. At least this one we get some enjoyment out of.
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#5
(07-11-2019, 07:51 AM)Sled21 Wrote: As someone who lives outside of Cincinnati, let me be the 1st to say thanks for keeping our team here with your tax dollars!!!!

LOL..

But it does beg a serious question - what of anything good has Mike Brown done for fans, taxpayers or the league? He has screwed taxpayers, frustrated fans and sucked off the teet of the league while providing no benefit to other teams. 
Fredtoast + Ignore = Forum bliss

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#6
(07-11-2019, 10:42 AM)I_C_DeadPeople Wrote: LOL..

But it does beg a serious question - what of anything good has Mike Brown done for fans, taxpayers or the league? He has screwed taxpayers, frustrated fans and sucked off the teet of the league while providing no benefit to other teams. 

He creates high paying jobs for his family members. 
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#7
(07-11-2019, 10:42 AM)I_C_DeadPeople Wrote: LOL..

But it does beg a serious question - what of anything good has Mike Brown done for fans, taxpayers or the league? He has screwed taxpayers, frustrated fans and sucked off the teet of the league while providing no benefit to other teams. 

Actually, the Bengals staying in Cincinnati has done a great deal for the area.  There are businesses that benefit from the team being here, including restaurants, hotels, and the casino.  As far as what he has done for the actual taxpayers and league, it is a little bit harder to quantify.  The tax rate where I live is still higher than that of Hamilton County, and I don't protest it at all....It goes to providing great schools and parks, among other things.  

I wouldn't call the tax that went to the stadium as "screwing the public".  It is a very small % and I think overall helps our community and surrounding areas.

Want to know what is "getting screwed"?   I went from married to divorced in 2018 and it was finalized in October of 2018.  I always withheld my federal taxes at a single person rate....it doesn't make a lot of financial sense to allow the government to hold on to my money, but I always liked getting a refund....usually around $1000.  Something always came up that it handled.  Well, since I am now divorced, my tax rate went from something around 25% to nearly 34%....only because I am no longer married.  I owed $12,900 on my federal taxes and was only "single" for two months.  It didn't matter.  You are taxed on how you file.  Getting nut-punched for nearly $13,000 after an already hugely expensive marriage termination was not fun.  I have no idea why someone that is married saves money on taxes over someone that isn't.  And it wasn't like I wanted to be single again.  Although now I realize I'm much better off.... 

Ok, off soap box.  We now return to our regularly scheduled Bengals discussions.  
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#8
(07-11-2019, 01:51 AM)guyofthetiger Wrote: I'll sum it up. The Hamilton County taxpayers got screwed again. I think Mike Brown would have pulled the plug on Cincinnati and moved to a new city without a deal. The stadium is almost 20 years old and still costing much more than planned. Now we get a new soccer stadium. Taxes are going to rise even more.

The soccer stadium is privately financed 
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J24

Lebron left the Cavs this makes me sad. 
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#9
(07-11-2019, 11:06 AM)SHRacerX Wrote: Actually, the Bengals staying in Cincinnati has done a great deal for the area.  There are businesses that benefit from the team being here, including restaurants, hotels, and the casino.  As far as what he has done for the actual taxpayers and league, it is a little bit harder to quantify.  The tax rate where I live is still higher than that of Hamilton County, and I don't protest it at all....It goes to providing great schools and parks, among other things.  

I wouldn't call the tax that went to the stadium as "screwing the public".  It is a very small % and I think overall helps our community and surrounding areas.

Want to know what is "getting screwed"?   I went from married to divorced in 2018 and it was finalized in October of 2018.  I always withheld my federal taxes at a single person rate....it doesn't make a lot of financial sense to allow the government to hold on to my money, but I always liked getting a refund....usually around $1000.  Something always came up that it handled.  Well, since I am now divorced, my tax rate went from something around 25% to nearly 34%....only because I am no longer married.  I owed $12,900 on my federal taxes and was only "single" for two months.  It didn't matter.  You are taxed on how you file.  Getting nut-punched for nearly $13,000 after an already hugely expensive marriage termination was not fun.  I have no idea why someone that is married saves money on taxes over someone that isn't.  And it wasn't like I wanted to be single again.  Although now I realize I'm much better off.... 

Ok, off soap box.  We now return to our regularly scheduled Bengals discussions.  

There’s literally nothing right around PBS. The Banks and all the bars and restaurants are a few blocks away next to the Reds stadium, and I find it very hard to believe the casino benefits all that much from the Bengals games considering it’s on the complete opposite side of the city. It’s also much different than people going down to Great American Ballpark 81 times a year. Football fans mostly tailgate which means bringing their own food, drinks, etc. Do the 8 home games a year (sometimes less when Mike agrees to play in Europe for that $$$) really bring in that much? I doubt the hotels even do that well. The biggest game that out of town fans travel here for is Pittsburgh and Cleveland, both of which they can just drive all the way home afterwards.
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#10
(07-11-2019, 07:51 AM)Sled21 Wrote: As someone who lives outside of Cincinnati, let me be the 1st to say thanks for keeping our team here with your tax dollars!!!!

I've got about 4 more years left of saying this same thing. Hilarious
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#11
(07-11-2019, 12:09 PM)Nicomo Cosca Wrote: There’s literally nothing right around PBS. The Banks and all the bars and restaurants are a few blocks away next to the Reds stadium, and I find it very hard to believe the casino benefits all that much from the Bengals games considering it’s on the complete opposite side of the city. It’s also much different than people going down to Great American Ballpark 81 times a year. Football fans mostly tailgate which means bringing their own food, drinks, etc. Do the 8 home games a year (sometimes less when Mike agrees to play in Europe for that $$$) really bring in that much? I doubt the hotels even do that well. The biggest game that out of town fans travel here for is Pittsburgh and Cleveland, both of which they can just drive all the way home afterwards.

PBS is nice from the outside, but inside it is the most bland stadium that I've ever been it. It's all concrete and concession stands. Other stadiums have much more in the way of entertainment inside. Plain is the best way to describe it.
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#12
(07-11-2019, 10:07 PM)THE PISTONS Wrote: PBS is nice from the outside, but inside it is the most bland stadium that I've ever been it. It's all concrete and concession stands. Other stadiums have much more in the way of entertainment inside. Plain is the best way to describe it.

What's sad about it is that it cost $450 million to build PBS and there are nicer stadiums built in Cleveland, Baltimore, and Tampa during that time frame for $200-250 million.  The lack of transparency from the county about the new lease definitely makes it seem like chunks of those stadium funds are lining pockets that they shouldn't be.
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#13
(07-11-2019, 11:06 AM)SHRacerX Wrote: Want to know what is "getting screwed"?   I went from married to divorced in 2018 and it was finalized in October of 2018.  I always withheld my federal taxes at a single person rate....it doesn't make a lot of financial sense to allow the government to hold on to my money, but I always liked getting a refund....usually around $1000.  Something always came up that it handled.  Well, since I am now divorced, my tax rate went from something around 25% to nearly 34%....only because I am no longer married.  I owed $12,900 on my federal taxes and was only "single" for two months.  It didn't matter.  You are taxed on how you file.  Getting nut-punched for nearly $13,000 after an already hugely expensive marriage termination was not fun.  I have no idea why someone that is married saves money on taxes over someone that isn't.  And it wasn't like I wanted to be single again.  Although now I realize I'm much better off.... 

Hmm, this would make a smashing P&R post.
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#14
What's always killed me in these kinds of things is the number of people who act like giving foodstamps to some poor family is a crime and yet handing over a cool billion to the likes of Mike Brown is all tits and mothers milk.. I don't mean to stir the pot, but there's usually no sense of proportionality in this stuff. So you're entertained 8 days a year, the Brown family become billionaires while a family has to do without because they didn't get an NFL franchise handed to them as their birthright..  Mellow
My key to long life: Get old or die! There are no further options available at this time.

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#15
(07-11-2019, 12:09 PM)Nicomo Cosca Wrote: There’s literally nothing right around PBS. The Banks and all the bars and restaurants are a few blocks away next to the Reds stadium, and I find it very hard to believe the casino benefits all that much from the Bengals games considering it’s on the complete opposite side of the city. It’s also much different than people going down to Great American Ballpark 81 times a year. Football fans mostly tailgate which means bringing their own food, drinks, etc. Do the 8 home games a year (sometimes less when Mike agrees to play in Europe for that $$$) really bring in that much? I doubt the hotels even do that well. The biggest game that out of town fans travel here for is Pittsburgh and Cleveland, both of which they can just drive all the way home afterwards.

The banks is literally between the two stadiums.  It is not a long walk at all to the Bengal's stadium, and there is parking directly underneath it.

There are also numerous camp dates in the stadium where people come down to spend the day...and there are 10 home games.  Some people could care less about the preseason games, but people go and spend money downtown.  

There is a group that would rather tailgate, but a lot of them go out after the game.  

As far as the casino's location, it is easy to get an Uber, or take the light rail to Over-the-Rhine for a lot of other businesses that stand to gain from the games.

The hotels?   A lot of fans from opposing teams come in to town and fill up the nice hotels downtown.  And not just Cleveland or pitt, plus a lot of them would rather come saturday or even friday and enjoy the downtown and drive back after the game.  4 Hours before and after the game sucks, but I am sure a small % do it.  

The biggest argument was the 81 vs 10 games, but the Red's attendance is usually less than half (or even more) of what the Bengal's game draws.  So it may only be more like 41 or fewer games with the same attendance as the Bengal's 10 games.  
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#16
(07-11-2019, 10:07 PM)THE PISTONS Wrote: PBS is nice from the outside, but inside it is the most bland stadium that I've ever been it. It's all concrete and concession stands. Other stadiums have much more in the way of entertainment inside. Plain is the best way to describe it.

They clearly spent most of their money in the club lounge...it is very nice, but it caters to the people that are there for more of a social gathering rather than the game itself.  It is really nice, though.  I swapped tix a few times so my dad could stay warm during some really cold games.  
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#17
(07-11-2019, 11:32 PM)Nately120 Wrote: Hmm, this would make a smashing P&R post.

Sorry.  I just vented for a moment.  I don't visit that forum.  But if we are using the phrasing "getting screwed", there are a lot bigger screws going on financially in our country than a stadium tax.  
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#18
(07-11-2019, 11:06 AM)SHRacerX Wrote: Actually, the Bengals staying in Cincinnati has done a great deal for the area.  There are businesses that benefit from the team being here, including restaurants, hotels, and the casino.  As far as what he has done for the actual taxpayers and league, it is a little bit harder to quantify.  The tax rate where I live is still higher than that of Hamilton County, and I don't protest it at all....It goes to providing great schools and parks, among other things.  

I wouldn't call the tax that went to the stadium as "screwing the public".  It is a very small % and I think overall helps our community and surrounding areas.

Want to know what is "getting screwed"?   I went from married to divorced in 2018 and it was finalized in October of 2018.  I always withheld my federal taxes at a single person rate....it doesn't make a lot of financial sense to allow the government to hold on to my money, but I always liked getting a refund....usually around $1000.  Something always came up that it handled.  Well, since I am now divorced, my tax rate went from something around 25% to nearly 34%....only because I am no longer married.  I owed $12,900 on my federal taxes and was only "single" for two months.  It didn't matter.  You are taxed on how you file.  Getting nut-punched for nearly $13,000 after an already hugely expensive marriage termination was not fun.  I have no idea why someone that is married saves money on taxes over someone that isn't.  And it wasn't like I wanted to be single again.  Although now I realize I'm much better off.... 

Ok, off soap box.  We now return to our regularly scheduled Bengals discussions.  

I am no tax expert, but you should ne able to file married joint for 2018, You may want to check into it. Then in 2019, your rate goes up
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Please give me a reason in 2019 to buy season ticket again in 2020!!  Tongue
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#19
(07-11-2019, 10:53 PM)Whatever Wrote: What's sad about it is that it cost $450 million to build PBS and there are nicer stadiums built in Cleveland, Baltimore, and Tampa during that time frame for $200-250 million.  The lack of transparency from the county about the new lease definitely makes it seem like chunks of those stadium funds are lining pockets that they shouldn't be.

Yeah...I can't fathom why they won't put it out there.

Redacting stuff to that level just makes it look shady...whether it is or not.
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#20
(07-12-2019, 08:41 AM)SHRacerX Wrote: They clearly spent most of their money in the club lounge...it is very nice, but it caters to the people that are there for more of a social gathering rather than the game itself.  It is really nice, though.  I swapped tix a few times so my dad could stay warm during some really cold games.  

That's interesting. Makes sense too.

I will say that the field is really nice. The seats too. It is aesthetically pleasing.

The Pro Shop is huge. Really large selection of items for a reasonable price. Probably the most reasonable prices of any Pro Shop I've been in.
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