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TAMPA STADIUM NOW RESTS ON COUNTY HOTEL TAX TO RAISE FUNDS

     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).
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