Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Markham Arena Debacle

Markham City Council, led by Mayor Scarpitti, plans to enter into the Professional Sports and Professional Entertainment business.

We are not against the building of this NHL Ready facility but against the financial framework that has been proposed.

We do not trust the Financial Framework proposed by the Mayor
Andy Taylor CEO of Markham claims that this arena will not cause a tax increase.

But as usual, the facts speak otherwise:

The Mayor’s Financial Framework was explained in the presentation package Council released on April 20,  2012.

Private sector group to fund 50% of the construction costs, estimated to be $325 million exclusive of construction financing.
  • 90% of the $325 million center will be privately funded
  • Markham’s share of the funding is from section 37 and Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) Development contributions.
However the facts are:
  • As soon as funds are given to the Town they become public money.
  • 50% of the cost is coming from Section 37, TIF and a ‘Voluntary Contribution’ that developers are being asked to pay.
  • These extra “payments” will be passed on to the new home owner, which means purchasing a new home will become more unaffordable.
  • The other 50 % is being paid by a Private Sector Group.

What you are not being told is:
  • Lease payments for this facility are fixed at only $1 million per year.
In simple English, the tenant is paying 50% of construction costs in lieu of making a fair market Lease Payment.

The city is borrowing the full cost of the 325$ million which works out to approximately 496$ million with interest.

There are several other costs and lost revenue streams which the Mayor is silent on.

The City of Markham will own this facility but not receive any financial rewards.

We will not receive any profit from the retail stores inside and no profit from the concerts, except a $3 dollar surcharge on tickets.

We will only receive 50% of parking revenue from the existing parking lots as they are not on town owned property.

Who gets the revenue from
  • Sale of  corporate boxes?
  • Naming rights?
  • Advertising?
  • Sponsorship?
Not the City of Markham. !

Do you, the taxpaying resident of Markham, believe that the city resources should be diverted to benefit a select few ?

Or do you believe that every available resource should be spent for the benefit of all Markham residents ?

WE, the RESIDENTS will be paying for this facility.

After reading these startling figures, I hope that everyone will begin to ask these questions of the Mayor and City Council.

Come to the public Town Hall Meetings and demonstrate to Council that you do not support this reckless financial adventure.

Tell your representatives on Council to do what you elected them to do - look after your interests, not the interest of already wealthy businessmen.

Speak out now !

This project must be built and owned by the private sector and Not by Markham.

Join in and sign the petition to halt this financial framework that will endanger the future of Markham.

Build it, but not with our money.

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