Redskins Camp is a Bad Deal for RVA

Hosting an NFL team may appear to be an excellent way to boost a city’s economy but for Richmond taxpayers, hosting the Washington Redskins has not paid off. In Erica York’s op-ed for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, she explores how “what should have been a privately funded project is costing millions of tax dollars from the hardworking residents of Richmond.” Despite the Redskins’ claims that the city has gained almost $300,000 from the agreement,

“their calculations ignore the “invisible” opportunity costs of failing to put these taxpayer dollars to more productive uses, such as reducing property taxes or providing core government services. Also unmentioned are the expenses — many unexpected — covered by the city of Richmond, such as $4,353 to install new, taller goalposts when the NFL changed league standards or the strain on police and fire department budgets working overtime to ensure event safety. Once again, it’s taxpayers who bear these costs.” With this analysis, York demonstrates that “this is what happens when a municipality negotiates with an organization that knows how to negotiate.”

Erica York is a tax policy analyst for the Center for State Fiscal Reform at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ALEC is the largest nonprofit organization of state legislators dedicated to principles of limited government, free markets, and federalism. You can follow her on Twitter at @ericadyork.

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