The city of Ralston is in a financial dilemma due to their arena and officials are looking at the Legislature for help. Ralston is already receiving a turn-back tax and gets 70% of the state sales tax from businesses within 600 yards of the arena that opened shortly before or after it was built.
Jim Vokal is the Executive Director for the Platte Institute for Economic Research and says that is very generous turn-back money and wanting more is a stretch. He says now they want to expand that to 1,000 yards and 10 years within the arena opening.
Vokal says, “Where we have local decision making we should also have local accountability. I don’t think that the residents of Chadron who are looking for increased educational funding or someone in Lincoln County needs additional infrastructure funding should have to subsidize Ralston any further.”
Vokal adds Ralston officials need to come up with their own solution and unfortunately that could mean an increase in property or sales tax or an additional restaurant tax to offset losses.