KJR Sports Radio 950 is reporting that the Sonics have re-worked their financing package currently up for debate in Olympia. Here is my understanding of what is currently happening.
The SuperSonics initial funding package included $227 million in state tax credit funds to be used for economic development. This tax credit, part of their initial $423 million funding plan would have provided a ton of extra money, which could have funded the arts and other projects. Those funds would have been likely to help broker a deal with King County by funding other programs in the region
Word is circulating in Olympia of a revised proposal in which the Arena does not include any state sales tax credits. It would be funded 100% by restuarant, hotel, and Rental Car tax. This package could not IN ANY WAY affect the state general fund and it completely removes the "more important things" argument from the equation. Supposedly those taxes would still generate as much as $280 million, the arts and other programs would still see their share, and somehow the Sonics would make the balance work.
My uninformed guess is that the Sonics have either found some additional private money or that they have managed to trim the costs off the total package. I know that their intention was to go in with the 'worst case" scenario in hopes that they could pare it down. This was a better alternative than going in at one number and then finding they could not perform.
There is a very strong likelyhood that this package can get done. Lawmakers in Olympia are much more receptive to it and will almost certainly approve this type of package, at least as far as forwarding it to King County for consideration. It provides further proof that ownership is extremely serious about keeping the team in the region and is willing