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Marlins Stadium Bills Advance


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LEGISLATURE

3 Marlins stadium bills advance

Proposals to aid the Florida Marlins in building a new ballpark made it through another stop, boosting the confidence of Miami-Dade lawmakers.

BY YUDY PINEIRO

ypineiro@MiamiHerald.com

 

TALLAHASSEE --Three bills that would give the Marlins a $60 million subsidy to help the team build a $500 million stadium breezed through state Senate and House committees Thursday.

 

But the team has seen stadium bills progress in the Legislature before, only to die at the end of the session.

 

That's one reason there are three Marlins bills this year. They were filed by Miami-Dade lawmakers who are mindful of the past failures.

 

The early successes are a good sign the bill will go farther this year, but some members of the Senate -- the traditional death chamber for the bill -- warned fellow lawmakers not to get their hopes up.

 

A $60 million tax break for a retractable-roof stadium, they said, could be a tough sell in a year in which the economy is slowing down, meaning there will be less money to spend.

 

''We will have approximately a billion less,'' said Sen. Ted Deutch, a Boca Raton Democrat. ``Our constituents will ask us, how do you agree to spend $60 million on a sports facility when the needs of the state are so great?''

 

Senators, mostly from Broward, also put the burden on Miami-Dade County and city officials to prove that a new, publicly owned stadium would be good for the state.

 

At the heart of the debate is whether the money is a tax rebate or tax subsidy. The Marlins would get $2 million a year over 30 years. It would be rebated by the state from sales taxes generated at the new stadium. Some economists say it would end in a net loss for the state.

 

But Miami-Dade County and city of Miami officials say the ballpark will do the opposite, boosting sales tax revenues and fueling nearby development. They say the ballpark will generate the $2 million in annual sales taxes it needs to qualify for the break, and top that with an average of $6.6 million more.

 

''Since the facility is going to be placed in a new market, it's going to attract people who aren't fans of movies, may not necessarily go out to eat, but are big fans of baseball,'' said state Rep. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, a Miami Republican who is sponsoring the House bill.

 

Broward senators also say it's time for Miami-Dade County and Miami officials to settle on a site, preferably closer to the county line. But the two options being considered are in downtown Miami and at the Orange Bowl. The Marlins currently play at Dolphin Stadium, near the county line.

 

''As unhappy as my constituents are now, when I tell them that I've helped fund something that will be less convenient for them, they will be even less happy,'' said Senate Minority Leader Steve Geller, a Hallandale Beach Democrat, who muttered ''grumble, grumble'' before voting in favor of the Marlins bill.

 

So far, sponsors have been effective in rushing bills through committees, hoping to get them to the floor of the House and Senate before the 60-day legislative session's end. Last year, the bill died just before the session ended at midnight.

 

Two weeks into the session, the House proposal has two committee stops and the Senate bills have one.

 

House Minority Leader Dan Gelber of Miami Beach, who wants delegation members to focus on healthcare and education issues instead, reminded fellow lawmakers about the Senate committee stop, warning that the bill may face trouble there.

 

Sen. Mike Fasano, a New Port Richey Republican who chairs the Transportation and Economic Development Appropriations Committee, which gets the bill next, could crush the Marlins' chances. If the Marlins get a second subsidy so should the state's eight other professional teams, he says. Each franchise is allowed one. The Marlins already got one to help retrofit its current stadium for baseball.

 

Despite all that, Thursday's votes swelled lawmakers' confidence.

 

The Senate Finance and Tax committee passed almost identical bills sponsored by senators Rudy Garcia and Alex Diaz de la Portilla. Both want to bring the stadium home.

 

De la Portilla, who couldn't make it to the meeting, said: ``My bill is better.''

 

''I was there by myself,'' fired back Garcia.

 

House Speaker Marco Rubio referred to the passing of the two similar Senate bills.

 

''Maybe we'll get two stadiums,'' he quipped.

 

Miami Herald staff writer Mary Ellen Klas contributed to this story.

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Well, it was passed by the Senate last year. But yeah, this is getting really old. It is the same thing every year. They seem to be confident though that they have the votes if it gets heard. I just hope this doesn't come down to the last minute again.

 

it won't. Look at who is leading the Senate and the House. Our guys. this will get voted on and it won't be at the last minute

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It's interesting that leading the charge to kill the Marlins chances are Broward and Palm Beach county democrats. Hopefully they'll come to understand if they want anything for their constituents this session they ought to get in line because the majority of republicans in both houses can cripple both counties' desires for their own pork barrel projects.

 

And let them go back to Boca and Ft Lauderdale and explain THAT to their consituents.

 

 

( Knows SoFlaFish is going to really enjoy this post :D )

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It's interesting that leading the charge to kill the Marlins chances are Broward and Palm Beach county democrats. Hopefully they'll come to understand if they want anything for their constituents this session they ought to get in line because the majority of republicans in both houses can cripple both counties' desires for their own pork barrel projects.

 

And let them go back to Boca and Ft Lauderdale and explain THAT to their consituents.

 

 

( Knows SoFlaFish is going to really enjoy this post :D )

 

Funny! Really funny. No, seriously, really funny!

 

What's new? It's "politics" as usual. Funny, because I know those folks personally. Actually, I helped Ted Deutch on his campaign this past fall and became very good friends with him and his sister-in-law.

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It's interesting that leading the charge to kill the Marlins chances are Broward and Palm Beach county democrats. Hopefully they'll come to understand if they want anything for their constituents this session they ought to get in line because the majority of republicans in both houses can cripple both counties' desires for their own pork barrel projects.

 

And let them go back to Boca and Ft Lauderdale and explain THAT to their consituents.

 

 

( Knows SoFlaFish is going to really enjoy this post :D )

These legislators must feel that the Marlins will continue to play at Dolphin stadium indefinitely if a new stadium is not built. Either that, or they don't give a damn about baseball, period. Those are the only reasons that I can possibly conceive may be going through their selfish minds.

 

It is well known that the Marlins won't stay at Dolphin stadium beyond the 2010 season. Not necessarily because Wayne will kick them out, but because of the horrible deal that the Marlins have with dear-ole-Wayne. These Broward and PBC politicians actually prefer to risk losing the Marlins to another state rather than to help the team move further south. Pathetic!

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Fasano wants to get his Lightning a second rebate to update the St. Pete Times Forum.

 

Other than that, looks good.

That "other than that" is a big one. I think by the time the full House and Senate vote on this thing it will be $540 million tax break ($60 million * 9 teams) and that's a lot of money especially considering the reduction in tax receipts (about a $1 billion) compared to last year.

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It's interesting that leading the charge to kill the Marlins chances are Broward and Palm Beach county democrats. Hopefully they'll come to understand if they want anything for their constituents this session they ought to get in line because the majority of republicans in both houses can cripple both counties' desires for their own pork barrel projects.

 

And let them go back to Boca and Ft Lauderdale and explain THAT to their consituents.

 

 

( Knows SoFlaFish is going to really enjoy this post :D )

These legislators must feel that the Marlins will continue to play at Dolphin stadium indefinitely if a new stadium is not built. Either that, or they don't give a damn about baseball, period. Those are the only reasons that I can possibly conceive may be going through their selfish minds.

 

It is well known that the Marlins won't stay at Dolphin stadium beyond the 2010 season. Not necessarily because Wayne will kick them out, but because of the horrible deal that the Marlins have with dear-ole-Wayne. These Broward and PBC politicians actually prefer to risk losing the Marlins to another state rather than to help the team move further south. Pathetic!

What other city that MLB would approve is waiting for them with open arms and open checkbook? Where would they go?

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Fasano wants to get his Lightning a second rebate to update the St. Pete Times Forum.

 

Other than that, looks good.

That "other than that" is a big one. I think by the time the full House and Senate vote on this thing it will be $540 million tax break ($60 million * 9 teams) and that's a lot of money especially considering the reduction in tax receipts (about a $1 billion) compared to last year.

 

That is assuming that one believes that going to a game is a choice of "either or". I don't, with exceptions. Most people who go to a game, especially a weekday game, would not necessarily have gone out to dinner and a movie that night. If there is a movie I want to see with my wife, and there is a game on Sat. night, then I will see the movie Friday night or Sunday evening. Now, I have gone to the game and spent money on other items, which also provides additional sales tax that is not part of the rebate (probably).

And for those people whose entertainment dollar is "either or" then isn't it their benefit that they even have a choice. If they would rather choose baseball over a movie, that is the benefit of living in a major league area. Sort of like having a choice of dining facilities or only choosing between Denny's and Dairy Queen.

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Any idea on why things are so quiet this week on boards and in Ballpark News Updates? No word on any Committee Meetings in Legislature on Ballpark Bills? I start to worry as every day closer to that final gavel closing the Legislative Session draws near. Cape? SoFlaFish? Marlins2003? Any updates? :mischief2 :cool

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The rebate is $60 million but only $30 million is required for the stadium project. BTW I wrote an open letter to Steve Geller, the legislator that said his constituents would be unhappy if he voted to spend their money to make seeing the Marlins more inconvenient. The letter is available at my blog.

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This is feeling like Deja-Vu as the days tick away in Trailerhassee towards a closing without a Stadium

Bill passing or being voted on the floor. The lack of recent news is very discouraging, but as much a part of April every year as Opening Day for Marlins Fans. :banghead

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Looks like next Hearing in Committee Scheduled - Ignore last post, as it comes from frustration of waiting for news and updates. Hopefully this will be next in line of Positive Votes.

 

HB 1079 - Professional Sports Franchise Facilities

Last Event: Added to Economic Expansion & Infrastructure Council agenda on Monday, April 02, 2007 4:27 PM

On agenda for: 04/04/07 1:00 PM :rolleyes:

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Looks like next Hearing in Committee Scheduled - Ignore last post, as it comes from frustration of waiting for news and updates. Hopefully this will be next in line of Positive Votes.

 

HB 1079 - Professional Sports Franchise Facilities

Last Event: Added to Economic Expansion & Infrastructure Council agenda on Monday, April 02, 2007 4:27 PM

On agenda for: 04/04/07 1:00 PM :rolleyes:

 

So in theory it could happen tomorrow?

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