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2 Legislators want voters to decide on Marlins Stadium Bill


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2 legislators want Marlins-stadium issue to be decided by voters


By David Fleshler


Posted March 20 2007, 12:15 PM EDT



TALLAHASSEE -- Denouncing a proposed deal to build a baseball stadium in Miami as a subsidy for the rich, two state legislators on Tuesday announced bills that would allow voters to decide whether to use tax dollars to build sports stadiums.


"When property taxes are soaring, schools are struggling to keep up, and violent crime is on the rise, voters should get to decide whether millionaire athletes and billionaire team owners deserve our tax dollars," said Rep. Scott Randolph, D-Orlando.


He was joined by Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, at a news conference on the Capitol steps to announce the proposed legislation. The bills would require the approval of voters in any jurisdiction that proposed to use tax money to build a stadium. If state taxes would be used, a statewide referendum would be required. If county money were to be used, it would require a countywide referendum. The bills would also make it difficult the stadium to be exempt from property taxes.


Bills are moving through the Legislature that would give the Florida Marlins a $60 million sales tax rebate to build a 37,000-seat, retractable roof ballpark in downtown Miami or on the site of the Orange Bowl. The city and county have worked out a $490 million deal to build it. Under the plan, the team would pay $207 million toward construction, with the city and county paying most of the rest with tourism-related taxes. The plan calls for the first $2 million in sales taxes generated by the stadium each year for 30 years to go toward construction and maintenance.


The bills have the support of House and Senate leaders, in particular, House Speaker Marco Rubio, R-Miami.


Asked how they would prevail over the Legislative leadership, Bennett said they would ask voters to contact their legislators to ask that their bills be heard.


"To give the Florida Marlins or any other sports franchise preferential treatment without going to a referendum is absolutely wrong," he said.



I really hate this crap. I wonder where Rep. Randolph D-Orlando was last year when the Magic were getting their subsidy.

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I really hate this crap. I wonder where Rep. Randolph D-Orlando was last year when the Magic were getting their subsidy.

pulling up to starbucks in his mercedes, watching the rims go round and round, while listening to his latest ipod while glancing at his rolex that is tucked under his 3,000 dollar suit right before he stole candy from a baby

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