During the budget bill signing ceremony Friday, Gov. Jay Inslee put at odds millions in economic growth and revenue for Pierce County by eliminating an impact study of the upcoming US Open golf tournament being held at Chambers Bay in 2015.
The study would have tracked the anticipated spike in sales tax revenue from the US Open and made it easier for the county to show that additional state funding would be justified to help maintain the golf course and earn a repeat of the US Open in 5-7 years. The governor also vetoed a section of the transportation supplemental budget directing the Washington State Patrol to help with traffic control at the event.
“I’m disappointed the governor couldn’t see the big picture,” said Sen. Steve O’Ban, R-University Place. “This tournament will have an enormous positive economic impact on our county and region, three times greater than hosting a Super Bowl. If we can demonstrate the substantial revenue that would come from this event, then we can position ourselves to host the event again in another 5-7 years.”
“The governor justified putting millions of dollars of economic growth and new jobs in jeopardy by saying there was no money provided for the study. In reality, the cost was negligible and the benefits were far-reaching,” added O’Ban.
The State Patrol has indicated that it will provide assistance with the event regardless of the veto.
The US Open golf tournament will be held at the Chambers Bay golf course in University Place June 15-21, 2015.