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Monday, December 11, 2006

Smoking for Soccer?

Posted By on Mon, Dec 11, 2006 at 2:47 PM

Why do smokers always have to pay for dainty stuff, like a sport played by Posh Spice's husband?
As if Ohio's new smoking ban wasn't bad enough, Summit County is now launching yet another attack on nicotine lovers by forcing them to pay for a professional soccer stadium. If the County Council approves the measure — which it surely will — a pack of smokes would be 30 cents more, generating an estimated $7 million a year for 30 years to help build the 20,000-seat stadium — a stadium that no one will use, because no one gives two shits about soccer. The move would follow on the heels of Cuyahoga County's 30-cent tax on cigs for the arts. The question is: Why do smokers always have to pay for gay shit, while simultaneously being ostracized for smoking? Yet, County Executive James McCarthy — a longtime Winston man — maintains that it isn't just a sin tax to fund soccer. "The soccer stadium creates a destination location," McCarthy says. "The whole point of this thing is to create a lifestyle village around it. Without that retail component, I wouldn't do it." McCarthy also says that $1 million of the $7 million annual revenue will go to fund arts and culture. "Yeah, plus I get some money for my arts and culture folks," he says. "It's sort of a backdoor way of doing it, but I'll take it however I can get it." — Denise Grollmus

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