Relocation of Sports Team Could Benefit Light Rail Plans

<p>Officials in Oklahoma is hoping to woo the Seattle Supersonics to relocate in Oklahoma City by offering tax incentives. One politician is hoping to advance plans for a light rail transit system by planting the idea with team officials.</p>
April 23, 2008, 8am PDT | Nate Berg
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"State Rep. Wallace Collins says the legislature's vote giving special tax incentives to the owners of an NBA franchise may indirectly help promote light rail in central Oklahoma."

"Collins, speaking to a Norman Chamber of Commerce legislative breakfast Friday, said he was able to raise the issue of light rail with the owners of the Seattle SuperSonics. He said they seemed interested in promoting rail using existing lines and stations."

"The rebate would be about $4 million a year and $60 million over its 15-year life. Normally not a fan of what critics call, "corporate welfare," Collins defended his vote Thursday. He said it was a benefit for a narrow cause but the spinoffs down the line will help central Oklahoma."

"'It probably is corporate welfare,' he said. 'I think it would help Norman. I think it would help all of central Oklahoma.'"

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Published on Friday, April 18, 2008 in The Norman Transcript
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