SBD/Issue 90/Facilities & Venues

Lightning Owners Propose Change In Law To Double Tax Rebate

Lightning Pushing Effort To
Double Their Sales Tax Rebate
Palace Sports & Entertainment (PS&E) has approached Florida legislators about updating a ‘88 law in order to “double the sales tax rebate for professional sports teams,” which would bring in an additional $2M a year, according to Alex Leary of the ST. PETERSBURG TIMES. The current law provides teams that build or renovate a stadium with $60M in sales taxes rebates over 30 years. PS&E officials said that the extra money is needed because the current rebate is “out of date in an era when professional sports teams create huge tax revenues in their host cities.” No lawmakers have introduced the proposal into legislation. Lightning President Ron Campbell said that other pro teams in Florida have “expressed an interest in the idea,” but he would not name supporters. Campbell said that games and events at St. Pete Times Forum in ’04 generated $7.5M in sales tax revenue for the state, “far more” than the annual rebate. Campbell added that “all the additional money would have to go back into the sports venue.” Under the proposal, teams that leave before their contract is up would have to pay for “half of the tax payments the state was due to make to the venue for however many years are left in the 30-year contract” (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 1/27).

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