Perillo: No state tax dollars for new Hartford baseball stadium

State Rep. Jason Perillo of Shelton opposes proposed legislation to dedicate state tax dollars toward the construction of a new baseball stadium in Hartford.

“Regardless of whether or not you want to see baseball being played professionally in Hartford or not, state taxpayers shouldn’t be footing the bill to make it happen,” said Perillo, a Republican first elected in 2007.

In June 2014, it was announced that the New Britain Rock Cats, a Double A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies, would move to Hartford. A new stadium is being constructed to host the minor league team, which will be renamed the Hartford Yard Goats.

When the deal was announced, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy asserted that the agreement was between the team and the municipalities involved, and that state dollars would not be used for the construction of a stadium in Hartford. The bill before the legislature would change all that.

Perillo: No other facility benefits like this

“There is no other facility that gets to benefit from an admissions tax the way this bill would allow the new Yard Goats stadium to,” Perillo said. “I am opposed to committing taxpayer’s money to helping pay for a deal arranged by the team owners and the city of Hartford.

“I am hopeful that Gov. Malloy will also remain committed keep keeping taxpayer dollars out of the picture,” Perillo said.

Malloy is a Democrat, and the Democrats control both houses of the state legislature in Connecticut.

Dedicating taxes from ticket sales

Under the proposed bill, the funds received from taxes on ticket sales would be moved from the general fund to an account dedicated to paying off the cost of constructing the stadium.

The legislature’s Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee held a public hearing on the bill, SB 1132: An Act Concerning the Admissions Tax, on April 20. Perillo is a member of that committee.

Ground was broken for the new stadium in Hartford’s downtown north neighborhood in February. The Yard Goats are expected to play their first season there beginning in 2016.

Perillo represents the 113th House District, which covers slightly more than half of Shelton.