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TAMPA STADIUM NOW RESTS ON COUNTY HOTEL TAX TO RAISE FUNDS
Published April 26, 1996
Florida legislative sponsors of a Bucs stadium bill struck a deal yesterday for a hotel tax to help finance the $168M proposal. The deal still faces "a rough ride" in the State Senate which is scheduled to adjourn in eight days and has "powerful opponents lined up in Tampa and Tallahassee to block the bill." The measure would allow Hillsborough County voters to decide whether to raise the hotel tax from 11.5% to 15.5%, the highest rate in the state. That would raise about $7M of the $8M per year needed to build the stadium. The TRIBUNE's Metz and Henderson note for the "first time since the Bucs tax issue has been raised in the Legislature, it showed signs of garnering support from lawmakers." The hotel industry has tentatively backed the bill and is negotiating to use some stadium profits to promote the tourism industry (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 4/26).