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ARE BUCS MOVING WITH LATEST DEVELOPMENT IN TAX AID?
Published April 11, 1995
The proposed $60M sales tax subsidy for a new or renovated stadium in Tampa "ran into trouble" yesterday in the FL Senate, according to today's TAMPA TRIBUNE. During the meeting, Bucs Owner Malcolm Glazer's demand for a new stadium to keep the team in Tampa was called "blackmail" by Senate Commerce Committee Chair John McKay. But while the Committee did pass the legislation for a tax break, an amendment by Sen. Fred Dudley "was tacked on" to require the Bucs to repay the tax money if the team moves before the stadium is paid off. Sen. John Grant, sponsor of the bill: "That requirement could topple the fragile financial arrangement needed to build or renovate the football stadium and may give the Buccaneers an excuse to skip town." Grant later said, although he is "nervous," he is not concerned" the team will move (Phil Willon, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 4/11). MEANWHILE, ACROSS THE BAY: In St. Petersburg, negotiators have drawn up a new contract that could help the Devil Rays and the city beat an April 30 deadline for submitting a lease to MLB owners. The new proposal is based on the assumption that Pinellas County will pay for part of the renovations to the ThunderDome. If the county decides not to pay, the lease "could be dissolved" without the city bearing the full cost of the renovations. However, Devil Rays Attorney John Higgins says the city's proposal "may not do the trick, since it doesn't specify who will pay what." Higgins: "Theoretically, baseball could say, 'You haven't satisfied our requirements, which was for a lease with guaranteed provisions.'" County officials do not plan to vote on the matter until mid-May "at the earliest" (Noam Neusner, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 4/11).