The New Britain Rock Cats (Class AA; Eastern League) won’t be evicted from New Britain Stadium after owner Josh Solomon delivered a $164,569 check to pay back taxes and settle city concerns.
New Britain officials had threatened to evict the Rock Cats for unpaid taxes. The team’s lease calls for a payment to New Britain to settle property taxes paid to another municipality. Technically, the ballpark is located both in New Britain and the town of Berlin. Berlin is actually the taxing authority, and New Britain pays property taxes on the ballpark to Berlin, which must be repaid by the Rock Cats per the team’s lease. It’s that lack of payment that was an issue for New Britain officials. Although the Rock Cats ownership is working with Hartford on a new-ballpark plan, they still need a place to play for the next two years (at least), and alienating some of the New Britain fan base when the team is looking at a move 11 miles or so up the road isn’t good PR. From the Hartford Courant:
Mayor Erin Stewart, who has been in the middle of the Rock Cats controversy since early June, said she was satisfied with the payment. It compensates the city for a tax payment it made to the Town of Berlin, where most of the land occupied by New Britain Stadium is located, at the start of the month.
“I wanted to make sure I was protecting our taxpayers and our relationship with our neighboring town,” she said.
“It was never our intention to have New Britain pay the bill,” Solomon said by phone Wednesday afternoon.
The team was looking at a Sept. 1 deadline to pay the balance.
RELATED STORIES: Two ballpark development projects make the cut in Hartford; Four Hartford ballpark developments submitted; New Britain plays hardball with Rock Cats over unpaid property taxes; Hartford pulls public bonding for new Rock Cats ballpark; Backlash emerging against new Hartford ballpark; Hartford: New ballpark already attracting development; Why are Rock Cats moving to Hartford? Follow the money; Hartford ballpark plan: 10,000 capacity, $60M price tag; Rock Cats negotiating move to Hartford: report
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