Bucks have new star player, new coach and old arena: Could "jock tax" help pay for a new one?

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The Milwaukee Bucks have made it official: Jason Kidd is the new Bucks head coach. Now, the attention turns to the biggest off-court challenge facing the team and its new owners, Marc Lasry and Wes Edens: a new arena. Governor Scott Walker is floating the idea of using the so-called "jock tax."

The Milwaukee Bucks have a new star player in draft pick Jabari Parker, a new head coach in Jason Kidd -- but the same old stadium in the BMO Harris Bradley Center.

At 26 years old, the BMO Harris Bradley Center is one of the NBA's oldest arenas, and is said to be outdated for the modern needs of an NBA franchise.

There are four pieces to the puzzle of financing construction of a new $400 million to $500 million arena.

The Bucks' new owners have pledged $100 million, and former owner Herb Kohl has pledged $100 million.

How much of the money will come from private sources and how much will come from the public is an open question.

"At a minimum, we should find out what is the amount of money that actually comes in from the Bucks? Begin with a starting point and say, 'what would the impact be if they weren't here?'" Gov. Scott Walker said.

Gov. Walker says the first step is calculating state and local tax revenue generated by Bucks players and visiting team's players whose salaries are taxed in Wisconsin when they play here, and adding sales taxes for concessions, merchandise and tickets.

"It's literally saying what do the players pay for income taxes in the state of Wisconsin along with the Bucks as a corporation?" Gov. Walker said.

Gov. Walker isn't proposing a new tax on NBA players, but he is floating the idea of using the taxes players already pay to help fund the arena, according to the Milwaukee Business Journal's Rich Kirchen.

"There could be something in the neighborhood of $100 million in financing that you could leverage with this jock tax, so it might eliminate the need to propose or discuss a sales tax," Kirchen said.

Other public funding options include the issuing of bonds.

The Bucks would borrow money for a fixed period of time at a fixed rate to finance the project.

Or, the city could create a tax incremental financing district.

Property taxes from a designated area would be taken and set aside for the arena, with the hope that the economic development would result in substantially more tax revenue down the line.

"I'm not in favor of a new tax. At a minimum it would have to be something that the public would have to have some support on like the state did with the Packers a number of years ago with a referendum," Gov. Walker said.

As ESPN report says if a new arena isn't under construction by 2017, the Bucks can be sold to the NBA, and the city of Milwaukee would likely lose the franchise -- so there's clearly a lot riding on this question of how a new arena could be built, and who will pay for it.

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