With its 92-year-old football stadium starting to crumble, the University of Washington began contemplating a renovation half a dozen years ago. One financing idea — getting $150 million from Seattle-area taxpayers — ran afoul of state Representative Ross Hunter. The state was reducing college funding, and tuition was surging.
“We were cutting billions of dollars out of our budget, and we are going to build a stadium. Really?” says Hunter, 51, a Democrat from Medina who is chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. “I was OK with saying ‘No.’”
That didn’t prevent taxpayers in Seattle and the rest of the U.S. from subsidizing the $250 million project anyway. Tax breaks on municipal bonds issued for the stadium, donations for construction and increased contributions tied to ticket purchases will cost the U.S. Treasury $154 million over 30 years, based on data compiled by Bloomberg. Without the exemptions, Athletic Director Scott Woodward says, he couldn’t have financed the overhaul.
As the school’s football team prepares for a bowl game Dec. 22 in Las Vegas, the field at Husky Stadium is dotted with earth movers and dump trucks. The construction shows how even some of the most soundly run college football programs benefit from indirect tax subsidies totaling hundreds of millions of dollars. In addition to the deductions that helped fund this project, sports departments are exempt from taxes on ticket, television and other income generated by their stadiums.
She likes the window seat; he likes the aisle. She wants the shade pulled down; he likes the shade up. She checks a bag; he only carries on. She curls up in a ball to avoid contact; he sits with his elbows and legs splayed out.
The sexes can fly in different directions when it comes to airplane and hotel habits and preferences, adding stress to an already taxing experience for couples and families.
Men still outnumber women among frequent fliers. Several airlines, US Airways (LCC +0.23%) and Delta Air Lines (DAL +0.50%) among them, say their customer base runs about 54% to 56% male. But the difference is leveling off. Virgin America says its passenger surveys over the past year average 52% men and 48% women. British Airways (IAG.MC -0.33%) actually carries more women than men, a spokeswoman said.
Membership in Alaska Airlines‘ frequent-flier program is evenly split between men and women, at least among members for whom gender is known, according to a spokeswoman for the Seattle-based airline. And at American Airlines, men make up 55% of the frequent-flier-program membership, but women under 30 years old now outnumber men in that age group.
The arrival of the Verismo, which was announced earlier this year, comes amid intensifying competition in the rapidly growing market for single-serve brewers and the coffee pods they use.
The market was pioneered by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc., which enjoyed soaring sales after its acquisition of the Keurig brand machine in 2006. But this month, the company’s patent on its K-cup technology expired, which prompted supermarkets to roll out store-brand versions of coffee pods that can be used in Keurig machines.
Starbucks’ decision to sell its own brewer comes just about a year after it struck a deal with Green Mountain to make coffee pods for Keurig machines.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Starbucks’ CEO Howard Schultz said that the relationship with Green Mountain will continue and that Starbucks will still sell its pods for Keurig machines in cafes. He said that “the Keurig machine is a fantastic choice” for customers who want only brewed coffee.
The Verismo, however, uses a high-pressure system that can make lattes and other espresso-based drinks, as well as brewed coffee. Essentially, Starbucks has said its machine targets a different type of customer.
TechStars New York begins. The entrepreneurs battle for the few spots in the Loft. Meet the Davids, who run the elite incubator, and the top minds in tech who will mentor the companies through the toughest three months they’ll ever face as entrepreneurs. Who’s got problems with their business right off the bat? Tuesdays at 9pm ET/PT. (Source: Bloomberg)
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Strange Random Entrepreneur Quote:
“I had to make my own living and my own opportunity! But I made it! Don’t sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them!” – Madam C.J. Walker, creator of a popular line of African-American hair care products and America’s first black female millionaire.
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