SBD/April 22, 2013/Facilities

Florida Bill Could Bring Millions In Funding For DIS Overhaul

Daytona's plan is viewed as a potential game-changer for the city's economy
If a bill to help Daytona Int'l Speedway collect more than $70M in sales tax rebates over the next three decades is passed by Florida state legislators “during the session that has two weeks remaining, starting in July the measure could funnel millions of dollars annually in sales tax revenues from the city, county and state to the Speedway,” according to Eileen Zaffiro-Kean of the Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL. City Commissioner Rob Gilliland said, "We're a very lean municipality and we simply can't afford to give up our existing sales tax revenue." City and county leaders “have praised the Speedway plan overall as a ‘game-changer’ for the area's economy, and Speedway officials point out that in future years the city and county would enjoy a wealth of new tax revenues many times greater than anything it might lose to the rebates.” Gilliland also is “quick to say he mostly supports the measure.” But he said that he “just wants to see wording added to the bill to protect the city.” The current versions of the bill “both give the Daytona Beach City Commission and Volusia County Council the ability to put the brakes on some of the rebates the Speedway is after even if the bill becomes law.” The sales tax rebate also is “a selling point for a plan that still needs the approval of the Speedway's parent company, International Speedway Corp.” DIS President Joie Chitwood said, "This bill would allow us to receive the same treatment that all the other professional sports teams receive." He added that if the bill “doesn't pass, the timing and scope of the overhaul could be impacted” (Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL, 4/22).
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