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Politician Wants Voters To Decide On Rebate


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Florida lawmaker wants voters to decide if tax money goes to stadiums

 

By Brent Kallestad

Associated Press

Posted March 7 2007

 

STORIES

Officials push for Marlins at Orange Bowl as UM weighs move to Dolphin Stadium

Mar 7, 2007

 

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- With money tight and many residents facing skyrocketing homeowners insurance premiums and rising property taxes, the Legislature has no business providing tax breaks for professional sports franchises, a southwest Florida lawmaker said Wednesday.

 

Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, said any money spent to build or refurbish pro sports facilities should be decided by the voters instead.

 

"Every person who thinks their property taxes are high right now should be contacting their Legislature and the governor's office and demanding that we not use their hard-earned money to support a professional sports franchise,'' Bennett said. "If they want to have that taxpayers money, then let the taxpayers vote on it.''

 

Bennett has not yet filed a bill to establish a voter referendum. Miami lawmakers in both the House and Senate, however, are pushing legislation designed to provide a $60 million tax rebate to help the Florida Marlins build a half-billion dollar, retractable-roof park at a site yet to be determined.

 

"I'm really not understanding why he'd want to put that on a referendum at this point,'' said Sen. Rudy Garcia, R-Miami, who is sponsoring one of the measures to help the Marlins. ``It's not tax dollars going to the stadium, it's a rebate.''

 

Proposals for a new Marlins ballpark have failed several times at the Legislature in this decade, and the team has hinted it would leave for another location without a stadium deal in South Florida.

 

"They're going to stay in that market, I'm not worried about it,'' said Bennett, who has several major league baseball teams with spring training homes within his district.

 

"You think anybody is going to give up the Miami market, the Tampa market, the Jacksonville market or Orlando market?'' he asked. "There's not enough major cities around to support them anyhow.''

 

One big difference in this year's political climate for helping out the Marlins is new Gov. Charlie Crist. Unlike his predecessor, former-Gov. Jeb Bush, Crist is favorably disposed to helping out pro sports franchises to keep them in Florida. Crist's first job as a lawyer was as a counsel for the minor leagues.

 

A separate bill drafted by a Senate committee last month would give up to nine existing sports facilities in the state an annual $2 million tax break if the teams that call those facilities home commit to staying in Florida for 15 years.

 

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This Bennett guy is a friggin jerk. :banghead

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Here we go again! Another legislative session is starting, the Marlins are asking for money, and the anti-Marlins crowd is gathering.

 

We will hear and read:

Why should tax payers pay for a millionaire's stadium? If they want a stadium let them pay for it. They over-pay millions to players and now they say they need the State's help to build a stadium.

The Marlins want to "double-dip". They already took their rebate to refurbish Dolphin Stadium for baseball. With the projected revenue decline, now is not the time to give money away to millionaires to build a stadium. We need to feed the hungry, build schools, fund police , etc before we help fund a stadium.

 

All these standard anti-Marlins garbage is music to the ears of any Florida resident north of PBC and politicians feel great spiting it out for their consumption.

 

I'm sooooo tired of this!

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What it may come down to, although it creates problems with other parts of the financing package, most notably with bond underwriting, is that the dispersement formula changes to something like the first million collected in sales taxes stays with the state, the next million collected is rebated to the Marlins, the third million to the state and then the fourth million collected to the Marlins, with the remainder above $4 million going to the state.

 

That, or something along those lines would be a much easier sell and allow a number of on the fence politicos in Talahassee to come over to the Marlins side.

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He's not Northern or Central Florida, he's Southern Florida. He's my lame-ass State Senator.

 

I can't wait until I get to cast my ballot against this jerk. We, his constituents, are "like water rolling off a duck's back."

 

He doesn't listen to us on anything from the ballpark to Terri Schiavo. He has a district so thin and long he gets re-elected because no opposition lives in the district.

 

But he doesn't matter thankfully.

 

I have called his office, written him, and e-mailed him.....coward is the word I would use to describe.

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this is getting tiresome fortunately the votes are there , and the gov will sign the bill i want this matter resolved asap it really has dragged on long enough. to the poster the senator in question is from south florida north fla that it really matters because the people who are against this minimal tax rebate almost invariably have a plan that could better use a tax rebate that coincidentally these projects usually reside in senator xyz's district :banghead

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What it may come down to, although it creates problems with other parts of the financing package, most notably with bond underwriting, is that the dispersement formula changes to something like the first million collected in sales taxes stays with the state, the next million collected is rebated to the Marlins, the third million to the state and then the fourth million collected to the Marlins, with the remainder above $4 million going to the state.

 

That, or something along those lines would be a much easier sell and allow a number of on the fence politicos in Talahassee to come over to the Marlins side.

 

Sounds like a great idea. Very logical. Makes total sense. However, it sounds too complicated for someone like Bennet. He's clearly not understanding the concept of a rebate. What makes you think he'll get this?

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What it may come down to, although it creates problems with other parts of the financing package, most notably with bond underwriting, is that the dispersement formula changes to something like the first million collected in sales taxes stays with the state, the next million collected is rebated to the Marlins, the third million to the state and then the fourth million collected to the Marlins, with the remainder above $4 million going to the state.

 

That, or something along those lines would be a much easier sell and allow a number of on the fence politicos in Talahassee to come over to the Marlins side.

 

Sounds like a great idea. Very logical. Makes total sense. However, it sounds too complicated for someone like Bennet. He's clearly not understanding the concept of a rebate. What makes you think he'll get this?

 

Just years of consensus building and too much time on my hands :rolleyes:

 

The issues here are politics not common sense or what is best for any particular constituency so ideas like what I outlined above are merely flights of fantasy. I know it but nonetheless I enjoy espousing them.

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What it may come down to, although it creates problems with other parts of the financing package, most notably with bond underwriting, is that the dispersement formula changes to something like the first million collected in sales taxes stays with the state, the next million collected is rebated to the Marlins, the third million to the state and then the fourth million collected to the Marlins, with the remainder above $4 million going to the state.

 

That, or something along those lines would be a much easier sell and allow a number of on the fence politicos in Talahassee to come over to the Marlins side.

 

Sounds like a great idea. Very logical. Makes total sense. However, it sounds too complicated for someone like Bennet. He's clearly not understanding the concept of a rebate. What makes you think he'll get this?

 

Just years of consensus building and too much time on my hands :rolleyes:

 

The issues here are politics not common sense or what is best for any particular constituency so ideas like what I outlined above are merely flights of fantasy. I know it but nonetheless I enjoy espousing them.

 

Rational, thoughtful people would take up your idea. It's just that most in Tallahasse are neither rational nor thoughtful. :D

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What it may come down to, although it creates problems with other parts of the financing package, most notably with bond underwriting, is that the dispersement formula changes to something like the first million collected in sales taxes stays with the state, the next million collected is rebated to the Marlins, the third million to the state and then the fourth million collected to the Marlins, with the remainder above $4 million going to the state.

 

That, or something along those lines would be a much easier sell and allow a number of on the fence politicos in Talahassee to come over to the Marlins side.

 

Sounds like a great idea. Very logical. Makes total sense. However, it sounds too complicated for someone like Bennet. He's clearly not understanding the concept of a rebate. What makes you think he'll get this?

 

Just years of consensus building and too much time on my hands :rolleyes:

 

The issues here are politics not common sense or what is best for any particular constituency so ideas like what I outlined above are merely flights of fantasy. I know it but nonetheless I enjoy espousing them.

Why not send it to Rudy Garcia?

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