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Union pay overdue taxes to Chester

Philadelphia Union have paid off the club’s overdue 2012 payment in lieu of taxes due the city of Chester.

The Union paid $500,000 to Chester about three weeks ago, Chester Mayor John Linder said Tuesday. The two sides are still negotiating an outstanding payment for 2010.

Overall, the two sides are much closer to complete resolution than they were a year ago.

“We have resolved (it), and you know, contrary to what is written in the newspapers, we’ve paid our taxes,” Sakiewicz said Saturday in an interview with the Philly Soccer Page, the video of which was posted earlier today.

The Union had agreed to annually pay $500,000 in lieu of taxes to the city government under the deal that established the MLS franchise in Chester. However, the Union did not meet anticipated deadlines for the 2010 and 2012 payments, something the Union attributed to negotiations over how to settle additional public works efforts the club paid for in Chester while building PPL Park.

Sakiewiecz estimated that more than $8 million was spent on street cleanup, landscaping, snow plowing, moving a pedestrian bridge to a new location, and other public works jobs. The Union have not asked for any payment from Chester for those efforts but rather the concession to pay the remaining $500,000 payment in lieu of taxes over a more extended period of time.

“All we’re asking is some relief on the 2010 payment,” Sakiewiecz said Tuesday in a follow-up interview.

Linder and Sakiewicz described the relationship between the team and city as a good working partnership and felt negotiations were moving positively, though Linder did have some concerns about repayment.

“We’re an economically distressed city, and we just don’t have much wiggle room,” Linder said.

Last year, news of the overdue payments broke shortly after Linder proposed new city taxes that would tax parking for major events throughout the city, but until now, it was never clear exactly what was at the heart of negotiations over the 2010 payment.

Linder said city officials are still considering a parking ordinance that would tax lots around the city, but that initiative is more focused on improvised lots set up in the neighborhoods outside PPL Park’s footprint.

“The Union wouldn’t be as affected as the people around the stadium who are setting up parking,” Linder said.

12 Comments

  1. I seem to remember such “public works” as a supermarket, sports resuaurant, and mini-mall as part of the original agreement for development of this water front. Dan, correct me on my errors, but are these aspects of the project now canned?

  2. I’m curious to see how the city will tax the church that sets up an “improvised” lot. Good luck with that one, Mr Mayor.

    • Hey, don’t hate on the church lot. I’ve been parking there since the jump. They are nice people, take good care of the cars, and provide a cheaper alternative to parking at PPL. Furthermore, I applaud them for utitlizing there property and getting a piece of the action from the throngs of people that invade Chester a few weekends a month.

      Plus, it would be easy to tax that lot. Send a city employee out for 3 hours an count how many cars roll in, not exactly rocket science….

      • Not exactly, Dan. I have no hate for the churches there, and have parked my car there numerous times. The church parking people are exquisite and it’s quicker to walk to my car than idle in traffic from the official lots. The problem is that churches are generally exempt from paying taxes in our country. Exceptions have been made, but it generally takes a lawsuit, which is an expensive proposition for a community in financial distress. The legalities were the point of my post, and I apologize for the misunderstanding.

    • I like “We’ve always paid our taxes.” means “We finally got around to paying our taxes 3 weeks ago.”

      Yup. Thats our Union.

  3. This probably means that Kleberson’s salary will be pretty large and the Union were making sure that they had their bases covered from a PR standpoint before that number got out.

    • The Black Hand says:

      Kleberson’s demand will dwarf Adu’s contract. I don’t think that the club will be able to swing him. He would be a nice addition; but would he be worth the financial commitment?

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