Curt Schilling’s Bill Comes Due for Rhode Island
For those of us here in Boston, watching the spectacular collapse last year of Curt Schilling’s video game company, 38 Studios, was a bit like driving by a car crash. We slowed down to gawk at the wreckage, but then kept on our way with the destruction safely in our rear-view mirror.
Not so for Rhode Island—for that state and all of its taxpaying citizens, the car is still on fire, and they’re still stuck in the backseat. That’s because the bill on the $75 million guarantee loan Rhode Island gave Schilling’s company to lure it to Providence is now coming due. The Providence Journal reported on Tuesday that, although some have suggested defaulting on the loan, Rhode Island Governor Chafee is intent on honoring the state’s obligations. The paper wrote:
Governor Chafee’s proposed budget for the year starting July 1 contains an initial $2.5 million payment to the bondholders, with the rest coming from a reserve fund created when the $75 million was issued.
The ill-fated investment will cost taxpayers $12.5 million a year for seven years, starting in the budget year that begins July 1, 2014, according to testimony to the House Finance Committee on Tuesday.
Rhode Island’s total budget comes in around $8.2 billion, so it’s not a huge percentage, but in these cash-strapped times, every penny counts. That’s $12 million that could be going to help pay for schools or healthcare or even back into taxpayer’s pockets. Instead, for the next seven years, it’ll be used to help extinguish the flames on Schilling’s wreckage.
[H/t to the New York Times‘ Jess Bidgood on the link.]