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Sweet deal

In a post a couple of days ago, I noted the wonderful benefits to the City of Baltimore produced by the Baltimore Ravens, as reported in the Baltimore Sun. Reading that article, one is left with the impression that the local newspaper is little more than an arm of the Ravens public relations department. The Baltimore Examiner will not be accused of that. Here's a recent editorial they ran on the Ravens practice facility.

Since occupancy, it (the Ravens) has been required to pay “one-twelfth of the county portion of the adjusted real property tax which would be due in the premises, not to exceed $300,000,” according to its lease, signed in 2002. It also must pay a 3 percent rent increase every year after the facility is built. One-twelfth of the adjusted real property tax is still not a bad deal. That works out to $25,750 per month — $309,000 per year in 2006.

I sure wish the county would charge me one-twelth of my property tax.

What does the team provide in return? The county is allowed to use a portion of the facility at least three times per year for public functions, all of which must be mutually agreed upon. It is also supposed to spend $200,000 on a lighted football field for public use that has not yet materialized, according to a Dec. 2 Examiner report.

Wow. The county gives the team property tax breaks and lots of free infrastructure and the county gets to use the facility three times, with the permission of the franchise, and a lighted football field that hasn't been built. The county sure negotiated a sweet deal with the team.

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