David's Blog

Friday, February 24, 2006

A Tax worth Paying

A Tax worth Paying

You and I have heard the opposition to the proposed DECC Arena expansion. Some business-savvy residents of Duluth have let it be known they are voting against the Arena because they are against any tax increase. No new taxes – for anything, for any reason, at any time - is their mantra. While I respect these individuals and can understand their view, I respectfully disagree with their logic.

If Arena opponents are successful and the referendum is voted down, then what? Will there be reason for celebration? No. We will have simply returned to where we were prior to the referendum: trying to compete in the big-time with a small rink. UMD will be forced to continue playing in the oldest and smallest rink in the WCHA. We will continue to lose out on opportunities to attract larger national entertainment to our too-small DECC. Two years of construction jobs, for up to 200 of our brothers and sisters in labor, will lay dormant. Our local economy will forgo the millions of dollars that would have been gained through the shopping, lodging and dining activities generated by attendees at a larger DECC.

Ian Sinclair, a British author, said it well: “An involuntary return to the point of departure is, without doubt, the most disturbing of all journeys.” If the referendum is voted down, the DECC’s leadership will involuntarily return to the point of their departure: to an outdated, undersized Arena. For them, it will be the most disturbing of journeys. Opponents of the DECC Arena will get what they deserve – 6 cents more in change from their lunch tab. Enjoy it.

You won. Keep the change. Spend it wisely. Do the right thing: add the 6 cents to your tip.

In contrast, the Chamber’s board of directors hopes the referendum is passed. The board voted unanimously to support the proposed DECC Arena expansion. It did so because it understands how the DECC contributes to the local economy. It understands how the DECC contributes to our community’s tax base by virtue of attracting visitors (and their money) to Duluth. The merits of an expanded DECC are detailed on the web site: www.arenayes.com.

The Chamber’s board of directors encourages you to vote yes for the Arena on Tuesday, February 28.

Yours in support,

posted by David Ross at

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