Indiana General Assembly
House of Representatives
Indiana House Republican Caucus
Room 401-6, Statehouse
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Contact: Tony Samuel
(317) 232-9887 or 1-800-382-9841

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Colts Stadium Bill Passes Out of Committee
Chairman Espich Proposes a Balanced Approach

(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."