SBD/Issue 141/Facilities & Venues

Lightning, Magic And Marlins May Receive Tax Rebates

Proposal Calls For Teams Like Magic
To Receive One-Time Payment
A “scaled back” version of a $540M proposal to help Florida’s pro sports teams is expected to be unveiled today before the state Senate Committee on Tourism & Economic Development Appropriations and will include only the Lightning, Magic and Marlins, according to Alex Leary of the ST. PETERSBURG TIMES. Under the reworked proposal, the teams would each get a one-time payment of $32.6M, instead of a $2M annual sales tax rebate over 30 years. The teams would be required to use the money to improve their playing venues, and they would have to apply for the money and “prove they generate at least $4[M] annually in sales tax.” The municipality or county in which each team resides would then have to “pass a referendum after holding a public hearing on the application.” Committee Chair Mike Fasano said the Lightning, Magic and Marlins “are the three franchises that have come to us asking for assistance.” He added that all three teams have “shown a commitment to invest their own funds in the stadium.” Leary notes any team that left the state would have to pay back the “difference between the $32[M] and the amount of sales tax it generated for the state” (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 4/17). In Miami, Pineiro & Caputo note the bill would mandate that each facility “be owned by local governments in Orlando, Tampa and Miami. The team has to stay in the state for 15 years and have an attendance of 300,000 a year. At least $60[M] of local money must be invested” (MIAMI HERALD, 4/17).

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