Arlington, Texas voters have approved using taxpayer money to fund a $1 billion retractable-roof Texas Rangers stadium. And the vote wasn’t particularly close. With 98 percent of the vote counted, the proposition was up 60-to-40 last night, cruising to victory. Final numbers will be in later today.
The measure’s victory will extend a half-cent sales tax, 2 percent hotel-occupancy tax and 5 percent car-rental tax that was supposed to expire once the city’s $155 million debt on the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium was paid off. In addition, there will be a 10 percent “admission tax” and a $3 parking tax levied for Rangers games.
As reported previously, the Rangers will not, contrary to how the measure was initially sold, be footing 50% of the bill for the new stadium. Rather, much of that tax revenue will be handed over to the Rangers, on paper at least, to satisfy their “half” of the bill. They will, of course, benefit tremendously from the ballpark merely by its own existence as well.
The Rangers are owned by energy CEO Ray Davis, who is worth an estimated $3.1 billion and Bob Simpson, also a billionaire energy executive.