Supervisors voted 5 to 4 against the motion, which called for $100,000 of transient occupancy tax funds to be spent on a marketing partnership between the county and the Washington Redskins. Under the arrangement, the county would have been branded the "Corporate Home of the Washington Redskins" and its logo would have been posted on the team's Web site.The Washington Redskins, in spite of being the NFL's second most-valuable franchise, and in spite of the team's owner being a billionaire, came looking for a handout of tax dollars from a County millions in the red. In return for this local corporate welfare for a multibillion dollar organization, the Redskins would give Loudoun...mention on their website.
If they had approved today's motion, the supervisors would have decided at a later date whether to spend an additional $150,000 on the second phase of the deal, which would have included the development of a Redskins Hall of Fame in Loudoun. - LoudounExtra
Of course, Supervisor Waters was all in favor of spending scarce taxpayer dollars to subsidize a corporate initiative for a profitable corporation owned by a billionaire.
"We're trying to generate tourism and additional travel to the county," said Supervisor Lori Waters (R-Broad Run), who voted in favor of the funding. "We have the Redskins here that have millions of fans." - LoudounExtraThe presence of the Redskins' training camp in Loudoun already generates travel and tourism, and the Redskins benefit from that continuing, regardless of whether the County subsidizes their plans or not. And let us all be clear, this hall of fame for the Redskins is going to get built whether the County contributes money or not - the Redskins want it and they have the money to do it.
There is an argument that the money for this comes from the Transient Occupancy Tax, which is paid by hotel guests and must be spent on tourism. Thus, why not spend it on the Redskins? To this argument, I submit two responses. First, and foremost, the Redskins should not be getting our tax dollars - even if those taxes are paid by visitors to our County. The Redskins make millions on their own and do not need our marketing help. Second, there are many other worthy reasons to visit and tour Loudoun that may benefit from promotion that do not already have a multimillion dollar budget the way that the Redskins do. How about promoting the Loudoun Farm Tours, or the Little League Softball Championship? Are they not worthy of consideration? For these organizations a little bit of money may go a long way in terms of promoting visitors to come to Loudoun. Given the economic situation, our County may benefit from enticing people who are already coming here for events to bring their family and friends, organically growing our tourism based on existing events and destinations.
Great job by the Board of Supervisors in saying "no" to an unnecessary corporate handout in a time of fiscal austerity. That's governing by action, not just words.