Rental Car Tax a Funding Source for Browns Stadium Repairs

Taxpayers will foot the bill for more than $1 million in repairs to Cleveland Browns Stadium this year, including $587,000 in new carpet, The Plain Dealer reports.

The repair costs will be paid from parking, admission and rental car taxes first levied in 1995—and collected annually—to help pay for the $300 million stadium, which opened in 1999.

The city of Cleveland owns Browns Stadium and is obligated to maintain it by a lease negotiated with the Browns when Cleveland was fighting to restore its NFL franchise.

In the lease, the city agrees to pay for repairs to the roof, foundation and structure of the stadium as it ages. It also agrees to cover the cost of replacing carpet—but not more than once every five years, according to The Plain Dealer.

The City Council recently approved the repairs, which include patching concrete and drywall and installing new carpet in the club area.

This year is the first time money is being tapped to fix the 7-year-old stadium. Since 1997, the city has set aside money for such repairs. The capital repair fund contains about $6.25 million, according to city records.

Another $850,000 is scheduled to go into the fund this year and each year until 2020. After that, more than $5 million a year will be set aside for repairs until 2025.

Next year, the Browns estimate the stadium will need about $1.2 million in repairs, including another $350,000 for carpet in the club area.

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