Kirk Adams: Matt Salmon calls support for the Chicago Cubs a tax increase?

In a flailing attempt to discredit Kirk Adams’ sterling conservative record, Matt Salmon recently sent out a mail piece charging that a fee on baseball tickets was a tax increase.

Here’s the truth:

Tourism plays an important role in our economy, and Cactus League spring training baseball attracts thousands of visitors to Mesa every year. In 2010, Mesa Mayor Scott Smith asked the Arizona legislature to support the development of a new spring training stadium for the Chicago Cubs.

To ensure that Arizona taxpayers would NOT be forced to fund the stadium, the Mayor asked the legislature to create a fee on tickets so that baseball fans who chose to attend the games would pay for the costs.

The bill that Matt Salmon cited in his baseless attack, HB2736, protected Arizona taxpayers by ensuring that only stadium users paid for the Cactus League Development Fund which financed the project.

About the Salmon campaign’s obvious confusion on the issue, Kirk Adams said,

“Mayor Smith has a solid record and a bright future. I’m surprised that Matt Salmon would attempt to tarnish Mayor Smith’s record by accusing him of leading an effort to raise taxes.

But I’ll cut Matt some slack when it comes to his unfamiliarity with recent local issues in Mesa—after all, he’s been a Washington-based lobbyist for over a decade and Matt was home in D.C. during the time that Mayor Smith and I were working together on this important effort.”

The Facts:

    • HB2736 created the Cactus League Development Fund for the purpose of financing the development and renovation of baseball spring training facilities. Watch Mayor Smith’s eloquent explanation of the bill here at 1:31
    • To finance the Cactus League Development Fund, HB2736 enabled the collection of a surcharge on the price of admission to spring training baseball events.
    • HB2736 did not increase taxes.
    • The Arizona constitution requires a 2/3 vote by the legislature to increase taxes. Any legislation that increases taxes or state revenues must meet this threshold. HB2736 did not trigger this requirement because it was not a tax increase.




  1. Oberserve says

    What about the STADIUM, Kirk?

    On that he’s right. It’s a property tax increase.

  2. Gilbert Guy says

    The stadium had nothing to do with the legislature. That was a move the city made.

    • Oberserve says

      Gilbert, please. The legislature would not have moved to support the Cubs were it not for the property tax increase to support the stadium. I cannot believe that there are people on SA who are trying to defend tax increases.

  3. Gilbert Guy says


    Please observe. City of Mesa sold assets to pay for the Cubs building and was done by the city. The ticket surcharge had nothing to do with that. Having stadium users pay for the stadium seems reasonable to me….

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