Submitted by Roldo on Sun, 06/28/2009 - 11:13.

The City of Cleveland annually now pays $202,700 more in property taxes on Browns stadium as the Browns pay the city to rent the stadium all year.


Isn’t that some kind of generosity or maybe gross corruption?


Although Browns Stadium is owned by the City of Cleveland it must still pay property taxes because it is used for private business. The Browns are owned by the Lerner family.


The city pays a total of $452,724 in taxes on the Stadium land. The land is valued at $5,588,170 for tax purposes. The market value of the land alone is $15,966,200, according to the County Auditor’s Real Property Information.


And we keep giving away lakefront land for pennies.


The city pays the property tax only on the land, not the stadium built during the administration of Mayor Michael White. The stadium has - as Progressive Field and Quicken Arena have - been tax exempted by state law. The law was lobbied in Columbus primarily by White and County Commissioner Tim Hagan in the early 1990s.


 The Lerner family paid nothing for the land and nothing for the stadium. Nice work if you can get it. And they could.


We can thank Mayor White for this gift-giving generosity.


The Cleveland Browns pay the city a measly $250,000 a year to rent the stadium. That rent remains the same for 30 years. Never to increase, as negotiated by the city’s lawyers.


In addition, the city pays the insurance on the stadium, another gift made by White to the Lerners, with the help, of course, of attorney Fred Nance, of Squire, Sanders & Dempsey. Nance negotiated the deal. Nance, not unexpectedly, is now the Browns’ attorney.


The big irony: The hated Art Modell paid more to the city to rent the old stadium than the Lerners pay for the new stadium at the same location.


These are the kind of deals that neither the FBI nor any other governmental body nor the Plain Dealer investigate or indict.


This is the honest corruption of our civic society. And so it does go.





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I know Fred Nance (Squires,Sanders & Dempsey) is a Browns attorney now. Who sold the bonds? Who negotiated the "deal"? Is there no ethical problem here? I am sure they are too slick for a legal problem. Is having no ethics a requisite for being a lawyer?


Quote from a PD article

"I figured out, standing on that corner, that the advanages in life must go to the people who understand the rules of the game and who are in a position to manipulate them."

                                          Fred Nance