(STATEHOUSE) February 23, 2005 - Chairman of the House Ways and
Means Committee Jeff Espich (R-Uniondale) today proposed an amendment
to HB 1846, to provide funding for a new stadium for the Indianapolis
Colts. Chairman Espich's amendment was successful and HB 1846 was
passed out of committee by a vote of 17-5. It will now be sent to
the House floor to be eligible for further amendments and a floor
vote by next Tuesday's deadline.
The bill focuses on the funding of the Colts Stadium by generating
approximately $44 million for construction of the new stadium. Chairman
Espich introduced a balanced three-way effort to produce the funds
from participants of Colts games; including the team, players, and
fans; along with the City of Indianapolis; and the State of Indiana.
(A summary of the proposal is attached)
The participants' portion will raise an approximate total of $14
million including $1 million raised by a Colts vanity license plate.
An estimated $15 million would be provided from an increase in Marion
County taxes, originally proposed by Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson.
Those taxes include an increase in the Innkeeper's tax from 6% to
9%, and raising the Marion County Auto Rental Supplemental Tax from
2% to 4%. Both taxes were proposed by Mayor Peterson for the convention
center expansion. Chairman Espich's proposal captures those funds
for the immediate need of the Colts stadium because construction
of a new convention center is still years away and funding can be
achieved in a future General Assembly.
An additional $15 million of state money will be raised from $8
million generated in revenue by an increase in wagering taxes from
35% percent to 36% percent on the five or six most profitable casino
riverboats and an increase in the Professional Sports Development
Area cap from $5 million to $12 million.
"This is a joint effort for everyone who supports the Colts
and wants to keep them in Indianapolis," stated Chairman Espich.
"I am as big a Colts fan as any and have been a season ticket
holder since they first came to Indianapolis. Today we have provided
a fair and balanced and well thought out proposal that should keep
the Colts in Indianapolis for decades to come."