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Tax district could help fund stadium


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It's rare that the Herald gets the scoop on this before the Sun-Sentinel, but here is the Sun-Sentinel's take on this issue:

 

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/sfl-mar...ports-headlines

 

Tax district could help fund stadium

 

By Sarah Talalay

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Posted April 28 2006

 

City of Hialeah and Miami-Dade County officials are exploring using property taxes generated on industrial and office park development proposed for western Hialeah to help raise funds for a Marlins ballpark that could be built in the area.

 

Officials say it's too soon to say how much money could be raised by creating a tax increment financing district in which a portion of property taxes on new development could be designated for a ballpark.

 

"We're moving along; we're trying to get it done," Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina said Thursday. "That's one of the ideas we're looking at."

 

County Manager George Burgess said the sides are considering what kind of development could occur in the area that is zoned commercial and industrial and lies between Florida's Turnpike and Northwest 97th Avenue and Northwest 170th and 154th streets.

 

"If it develops the way people envision it should, there's significant value that can be leveraged," Burgess said. "I'm as encouraged on this [ballpark] project and location than I have been in quite a while."

 

The Marlins declined comment.

 

Last week, county commissioners approved allowing development on 1,140 acres that previously sat outside the area where construction could occur. Developer Armando Codina, who owns about 500 acres in the area, plans an industrial and office-style park there.

 

Although Codina's plans do not include a stadium, Robaina says he is confident the city will be able to use some of the land for a ballpark.

 

The portion of property taxes on the new development that would go to the county and the city could be put toward a ballpark, although Robaina has said he's not sure if he's willing to put more than the land into a ballpark project. Both the city council and county commission would need to approve the plan.

 

It's unlikely the county would agree to the financing plan if the city's portion of the taxes is not designated for a ballpark. Robaina promised to keep an "open mind," but reiterated his desire for Major League Baseball to participate in the financing, which is unlikely.

 

The Marlins have said they want to remain in South Florida but have been in talks with San Antonio. Last week, the San Antonio official leading the effort to lure the Marlins issued a May 15 deadline for a response to his offer of help to finance a stadium.

 

Sarah Talalay can be reached at stalalay@sun-sentinel.com.

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"If it develops the way people envision it should, there's significant value that can be leveraged," Burgess said. "I'm as encouraged on this [ballpark] project and location than I have been in quite a while."

 

It says something about where things are headed when Burgess says something like this.

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"If it develops the way people envision it should, there's significant value that can be leveraged," Burgess said. "I'm as encouraged on this [ballpark] project and location than I have been in quite a while."

 

It says something about where things are headed when Burgess says something like this.

 

Sounds very good. The month of May won't be able to go by fast enough......just waiting for more encouraging news.

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