WLOX Editorial: Don't leave the debt to the taxpayers

Professional minor league baseball in Biloxi. It sounds like a good idea. To build a baseball stadium, the state will come up with $15 million and the city of Biloxi will borrow $21 million.

So how does Biloxi come up with the money to pay off the $21 million debt? The plan as we understand it, includes sales tax refunds from the state on merchandise sold at the stadium, increased property taxes on increased value of the stadium site, rental income, a dollar per baseball ticket, and up to six dollars per ticket for other concerts and events at the stadium, all adding up to $1.4 million per year to pay off the debt.

The plan may just work with the result of baseball next spring in Biloxi. But we urge Biloxi city leaders to look at this deal carefully and be very transparent with the taxpayers about the entire plan and who is involved.

Make sure the revenue will be there to pay off the debt and don't leave the debt to the taxpayers, because once you borrow the money, you have to pay it back no matter how many or how few tickets you sell.

That's our opinion, we would like to hear yours. Email your thoughts to editorials@wlox.com, or post your comments below.

Rick Williams
WLOX-TV General Manager

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