Tuesday, April 30, 2013

More on Sacramento Basketball & Municipal Policy

It appears that the attempt to build a new Arena to keep the Sacramento Kings is a microcosm for all sorts of consequential policy decisions at the state & local level.

On the "possibly a plus" side, the new arena may be a catalyst for state legislation that restructures the California Environmental Quality Act. The CEQA is often cited as a deterrent to construction in California,  especially in coastal areas, which has helped push up housing costs and contributed to sprawl. Now, it's possible that Proposition 13 is the larger culprit, but there's strong evidence that environmental regulations play a substantial role.

However, in the "total minus" side, Sacramento is going finance a portion of the arena construction costs by borrowing against future parking garage & parking meter revenues. Because the city is still paying off loans associate with those garages, the bond payments will be interest-only payments for almost ten years before the city can begin paying off principal. How this can possibly be a good deal for taxpayers is beyond me.

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