'No Jones Tax' group opposes plan

Updated: February 13, 2004, 9:12 PM ET
Associated Press

DALLAS -- The Dallas Cowboys' proposal to use public funds to build a new stadium, with an estimated price tag of $650 million, has residents lining up in opposition to what they say will be high subsidies, including hotel and car rental taxes.

Members of the group called No Jones Tax opposes raising the taxes to help fund a new venue.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has urged the construction of a retractable-roof stadium as part of the $1 billion, year-round entertainment development to replace Texas Stadium in Irving, Texas.

Organizer Dave Capps said his group has received hundreds of inquiries about its campaign opposing the Cowboys' proposal of raising $450 million to help build a stadium through increases in taxes, a move voters would have to approve.

"There's something inherently unfair about this," said Coppell resident Ken Lobsinger, who spoke at the group's first rally. "It's just unfair."

About 200 people attended the rally Thursday night in a hotel at Dallas Market Center.

The Cowboys' unofficial proposal would add a 6 percent tax to car rental bills in Dallas County. A 3 percent tax would be added to existing taxes on hotel bills, giving Dallas the highest hotel tax rate in the country, according to the Hotel Association of Greater Dallas. Dallas-based cosmetics company Mary Kay and some other businesses have said the tax would keep them from holding conventions in the city.

Some lawmakers and Cowboys officials said the group's opposition is premature. Capps, who owns a car rental company, said the fledgling campaign to bring down the idea of raising taxes would grow.

"You could call this our grand opening," Capps told The Dallas Morning News in Friday's editions.

A Cowboys consultant said the project would be heavily funded by private investments and might bring hundreds of millions in dollars to Dallas.

"We just hope that the citizens of Dallas County, including this group, will hold their judgment until the local elected officials who are good, fiscally conservative stewards of the taxpayers' money have had the opportunity to negotiate what we believe will be an economically win-win deal for the citizen of Dallas County," Cowboys consultant Rob Allyn said.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press