Cleveland sports venues divide up sin tax revenues

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CLEVELAND, OH - Cleveland is an official, bona fide sports town, and upgrading its three major sports facilities is of course, top priority.

Today, the city announced how funding for improvements to those facilities will be divvied up.

The so-called sin tax renewed by voters in 2014, is expected to raise around $260 million dollars by 2035.

The Browns, Indians and Cavs will all receive $4.6 million dollars annually over the next 20 years.

The agreement between the city and county allocates equal shares for upgrades to Progressive Feld, Quicken Loans arena and First Energy stadium.

When the tax first passed in 1990, the money was used to pay off debt from the construction of a new Indians ballpark and new Cavaliers arena.

It is now helping to upgrade all facilities, including new scoreboards at both the Q and Progressive Field.

And officials say there's more work to come.

The city of Cleveland’s Director of Finance Sharon Dumas says, “This is our allocation of sin tax. And it's simply a memorandum of understanding between the city of Cleveland and the county who is the authority for the sin tax and the recipient of the sin tax. That the sin tax will be split equally between the three teams.”

While the city of Cleveland owns First Energy stadium, the Q and Progressive Field are both owned by Gateway Economic Development Corporation.

The sin tax is 4.5 cents on a pack of cigarettes, a penny and a half on a beer and 6 cents on a bottle of wine.

A small price to pay, according to taxpayers, to help improve facilities for our championship teams.

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