#kcmuckreads: Royals use of taxpayer dollars questioned, according to 810 report

Sports Radio 810 has a bombshell report today, detailing how the Royals, recipients of $17 million in taxpayer funding for stadium upgrades, have been using the money for expenses like payroll taxes.

The report says the club has spent $4 million on:

full and part time employee salaries, security, cable tv, first aid, utilities, telephones and even payroll taxes.  By using the money for payroll taxes, the team literally collected taxpayer money to pay their own taxes. The Sports Authority approved the expenses and operates separately from Jackson County government. …

Records show the Royals needed only $1,540,390 for actual maintenance and repairs since 2008 with the biggest expenses being supplies, Hall of Fame reconfiguration and waterproofing.  The remaining RMMO Fund balance as of July 1, 2012 was around $5.6 million

FOX4 reports the Jackson County Sports Authority executive director, Jim Rowland, says no funds were misused.

Jackson County Sports Complex Authority Executive Director Jim Rowland says bases and tarps are legitimate operations expenses eligible for reimbursement under the team’s lease with the county.

Taxpayers also pay the water bill, the telephone bill and a cable t.v. bill that totals $96,000 a year. Rowland says he doesn’t like the fact that taxpayers are being charged $247,000 a year for security during baseball games and more than $99,000 for office cleaning. But he says there’s nothing the sports authority can do about it.

Rowland blames Jackson County leaders who negotiated the lease, which allows both the Chiefs and Royals to seek taxpayer reimbursement for virtually all of their costs except player contracts and executive salaries.

Rowland says terms of the lease, including the provision for taxpayer payments to cover operations and management, were available for anyone to scrutinize before voters approved the stadium renovation package.

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