The desire to bring Major League Baseball back to the District emanates from the office of Mayor Anthony A. Williams and the business leaders he has spent most of his time in office courting. So it is both amusing and offensive that business leaders scoff at the suggestion that they should pay as much as $20 million a year in taxes toward construction of a stadium ["Businesses Face Higher D.C. Taxes For Stadium," Metro, June 16]. That leaves $320 million to $380 million of the financing for the average taxpayers and small businesses.
It is questionable whether the average resident will gain anything from the relocation of the Montreal Expos to this city, but the move stands to be a windfall for well-positioned business interests. Even in the best-case scenario, most jobs that would go to District residents would be either short-term construction or seasonal work, mostly at minimum wage.
These jobs, while providing a quick fix to the financial hardships many residents face, would be nothing more than a band-aid for the structural problems that reproduce poverty in our city.
If the Federal City Council or the D.C. Chamber of Commerce supports bringing baseball back to Washington, its members should favor shouldering an equitable proportion of the burden because they, not District taxpayers, will benefit most in the long run.
DAMIEN J. THOMPSON