Owensboro tax payers won't be paying for proposed arena

One day after the Evansville Icemen's move to Owensboro took a dramatic turn, we had questions.  Who will pay for the arena Owensboro Mayor Ron Payne and Icemen Owner Ron Geary are discussing on Highway 54. 

City officials tell me the facility will be built within the TIF district on Highway 54 and will not cost the tax payers a dime. I spoke with City Attorney Ed Ray. He says the city wouldn't build the arena. They would find a private developer to take on the project at a cost of more than 20 million dollars. But the developer would be eligible to have the whole project reimbursed through the TIF with the exception of the land bought for the project. 

City officials say events held at the arena would attract large crowds from around the region and generate a large amount of sales tax revenue. The TIF will allow that money to be given back to Owensboro instead of going to the state and spread to other communities.  "There has been no final determination made by the private sector or the city commission is not involving any new tax dollars, loans, or bonds to build this arena. It will be private equity investment with eligibility to be reimbursed through the generated revenue of the TIF," said Ed Ray, Owensboro City Attorney.

Owensboro City Attorney Ed Ray will be amending the city's TIF application to the state and adding a proposed arena.