Selig: 'Cubs tax' a dead issue

Updated: March 28, 2010, 3:35 PM ET
By Bruce Levine | ESPNChicago.com

MESA, Ariz. -- Baseball commissioner Bud Selig said on Saturday the proposed Cub tax which would put a surcharge on every spring training ticket sold is a dead issue.

Selig said that he has appointed John McHale, Jr., who is the executive vice president of administration of Major League Baseball, to handle future proposals with the state of Arizona and its municipalities.

One of the major issues was to raise funds for projects such as the $184 million future spring training home of the Cubs in East Mesa, Ariz.

Selig said that the decision as to how to raise money for these future projects are Major League Baseball's decision first, not the state or the city.

"It's in our hands, its completely in our hands," Selig said. "We are going to find a situation we accept. If it involves a municipality, we're talking to them if there is a tax. We're looking for the right economic solution."

Selig's comments take away power from the Arizona lawmakers to pass legislation to raise a 10 percent tax on Cactus League tickets sold at all Arizona venues.

"If it's not a tax from them [the legislatures] then they're not in the picture," Selig said. "We're talking to everybody, including the lawmakers. And they've been very helpful, by the way."

It's possible MLB may approach each spring training city on a case-by-case basis to figure out how to raise funds for ventures in their areas like the new Cubs' facility.

"Until we find the right economic solution that the Cubs can live with and everybody else [the other 14 Arizona spring training teams] can live with that is doable, then well go from there, " Selig said.

Bruce Levine covers baseball for ESPNChicago.com

Bruce Levine | email

Chicago baseball beat reporter
Bruce Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.

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