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Clark County ballpark vote slated for today

Proposed Clark County ballpark

A vote on a proposed 5 percent admissions tax to help fund a new ballpark for the Yakima Bears (short season A; Northwest League) is expected today — but no one is predicting the outcome.

The proposal calls for a 5 percent tax on entertainment (movies, county fair, golf courses, concerts, etc.) admission fees in Clark County, Washington. Of those proceeds, $800,000 would be put toward a new $19.5-million ballpark — some $20 million over 25 years. The Bears would then arrange financing for the ballpark, backed with the proceeds of the tax.

This proposal has gone through several iterations; it became more palatable to some local politicians when it was determine additional revenues would go toward non-ballpark spending in Vancouver (where the new ballpark would be located, on the Clark College campus). In addition, Clark College stepped up and pledged $3.5 million toward capital costs; the Bears are slated to pay $4 million. The ballpark project was also scaled back, as was the Bears’ financial contribution. All these changes caused Northwest League president Bob Richmond to step up his support of the project.

We’ll monitor the vote throughout the day. This is not the only ballpark proposal in the greater Portland area; the city of Milwaukie has also been considering a publicly financed ballpark.

RELATED STORIES: Milwaukie seeks public input on new ballpark; Milwaukie moves ahead with ballpark-feasibility study; Clark County postpones ballpark hearing; County scales back commitment to Portland-area ballpark; Competing ballpark plans in Portland; New Portland-area ballpark could provide economical bump: study; Clark County reverses course; will exclusively negotiate with Bears; Clark County passes on exclusive negotiations with Bears; opposition to new ballpark rises; Funding plan emerges for new Clark County ballpark; Yakima Bears to Portland area


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