Flyers’ Ehrenreich Gets Rich, Taxpayers Get Soaked

Published October 27, 2008

Since 1999, Schaumburg taxpayers have been forced to give nearly $20 million to build a stadium and assist the operation of the Schaumburg Flyers Professional Baseball corporation. Area residents and businesses also have had to make up the multi-million-dollar property tax exemption granted to the stadium.

It should come to no surprise that Richard Ehrenreich has made a fortune from this lavish corporate welfare and special tax breaks. A report in Satisfaction Magazine in October 2006 stated “Ehrenreich’s 1999 investment of just over $1 million may well be worth $8 million to $10 million today.”

Now we learn Ehrenreich has an extensive track record of not paying vendors, employees, the Schaumburg Park District, or the Village of Schaumburg on time (October 9, “Flyers owe Schaumburg, park district, employees“). Why do the Schaumburg Village Board and Mayor Al Larson continue to soak us for a deadbeat business owner getting rich on the taxpayers’ dime?

There is no time like now for Schaumburg to end corporate welfare, sell the stadium and the surrounding land to the highest bidder, and recoup as much of the taxpayers’ expenses as possible. Schaumburg’s experiment in corporate welfare for professional sports teams has failed miserably.

Brian Costin ([email protected]) is assistant director of government relations for The Heartland Institute.

This Letter to the Editor was originally published in the Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL).