New Rangers stadium continues to divide Arlington residents

The upcoming November vote on a new Texas Rangers stadium tax appears to be dividing the Tarrant County Republican Party.

The half-cent sales tax would help pay for a proposed $1 billion retractable-roof stadium. But some Republican Party leaders are critical of the timing since it goes on the same ballot as the presidential election.

The Vote Yes campaign has an endorsement from the Arlington Tea Party while the Vote No campaign seems to have the Tarrant County Republican Party on its side.

"You didn't see this with the Cowboys stadium,” said Warren Norred with the Vote No campaign. This is so bad that the body as a group said we'll go ahead and take a position."

But volunteers for the Vote Yes side say the Tarrant County GOP resolution doesn't speak for all Arlington republicans or its citizens.

“We are out to get all the collective citizens and business people of Arlington to do what's best for the Arlington community,” said Kelly Curnutt with the Vote Yes campaign.

Arlington taxpayers are being asked to pay half the cost of a new billion dollar stadium. The Vote Yes campaign says it's vital to keeping the rangers in Arlington. Opponents say the Rangers' contract keeps them there for eight more years.

"What I fully expect is for us to beat this,” said Norred. “And then in two years, it will be a general election, not a presidential election, and we'll see 350 million."

Supporters of the new stadium make no apologies for rushing to put this to a vote in the November election. They say it eliminates what they see as a real threat of losing the Rangers to Dallas.

"This is a presidential election year. We have the benefit of the most citizens likely to show up at the polls,” explained Curnutt. “So the most number of citizens of Arlington get to make this decision."

In the end, it is a question of cost. The Vote No side says it's too much money to ask taxpayers to bear. Supporters say Arlington can't afford to lose development that's already started and the millions of outside visitors the Rangers bring to Arlington.

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