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Baseball

Stadium deal is $59 million

    The deal proposed to bring the Portland Beavers to Beaverton is estimated to cost $59 million with taxpayers expected to foot nearly 60 percent of the bill through higher property and utility taxes for 25 years.

    The deal revealed Monday is drastically different for taxpayers than the one team owner Merritt Paulson had negotiated during his stalled discussions with Portland. That’s because Portland leaders planned to dip into urban renewal funding, a financial tool Beaverton does not have in place.

    Beaverton Mayor Denny Doyle on Monday called the 60-40 split with Paulson a “sensible deal.” He said a new baseball stadium, which still lacks a specific site, would help revitalize the city

    The proposed deal will go to the Beaverton City Council at 6 p.m. today. A vote on the nonbinding preliminary agreement isn’t expected until next week at the earliest.

    Beaverton would issue more than $50 million in revenue bonds to cover its share, to be repaid by higher property and utility taxes that would cost the average homeowner about $64 annually.

    “I think it’s probably a very low impact on taxpayers right now, and it can only get softer,” said Doyle. He suggested a new baseball stadium would be a catalyst for redevelopment and expand the city’s overall tax base.

    Paulson, 36, would contribute $9 million upfront and make rent and ticket-tax payments beginning at almost $875,000 annually. He pledged to split cost overruns up to $2 million and fully cover any above that, and he personally guaranteed the rent payments.

    “It’s got a huge private contribution,” Paulson said. “This is a bet I’m making on Beaverton, and there’s nothing at all embarrassing about the equity contribution we’re making.”

    — Excerpt from OregonLive.com, October 12, 2009


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