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Marlins Park questions


amcintron
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I am doing a research project for the University of Louisville studying the attitudes of Miami-Dade County residents towards the Miami Marlins organization and the local government’s financial support of the new ballpark (and how it has affected their attendance).

 

In order to complete the study, I am looking to interview 10-15 current residents of Miami-Dade County. The interview will be done over the phone and shouldn’t last longer than 45 minutes.

 

If you are interested in participating, please contact me at alicia.cintron AT louisville DOT edu.

 

Thank you for your time!

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I am doing a research project for the University of Louisville studying the attitudes of Miami-Dade County residents towards the Miami Marlins organization and the local government’s financial support of the new ballpark (and how it has affected their attendance).

 

 

So, after you ask them about whether "the local government’s financial support of the new ballpark" has affected their attendance, are you also planning to ask them if they are aware that ~99% of the "financial support" comes straight out of the hides of tourists who pay the M-D County 6% hotel bed tax, and not from local taxpayers?

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I am doing a research project for the University of Louisville studying the attitudes of Miami-Dade County residents towards the Miami Marlins organization and the local government’s financial support of the new ballpark (and how it has affected their attendance).

 

So, after you ask them about whether "the local government’s financial support of the new ballpark" has affected their attendance, are you also planning to ask them if they are aware that ~99% of the "financial support" comes straight out of the hides of tourists who pay the M-D County 6% hotel bed tax, and not from local taxpayers?

Probably not, because nobody seems to understand these silly facts.

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Good luck on your project-although the premise is flawed if you believe that year 2 attendance dropped because of the funding. Logically, what purpose would it serve if people actually stayed away from going only to make a point, invalid as it may be, that it is coming out of their tax pocket.

 

 

That's what research does - confirm or refute a hypothesis. But conducting a survey is definitely a very tricky thing, trying to get meaningful answers that haven't been inadvertently skewed by poorly crafted or poorly informed questions. I think we all might like to know what the questions are. Unfortunately since I'm not a M-D resident I don't qualify for the survey.

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I am doing a research project for the University of Louisville studying the attitudes of Miami-Dade County residents towards the Miami Marlins organization and the local government’s financial support of the new ballpark (and how it has affected their attendance).

 

 

So, after you ask them about whether "the local government’s financial support of the new ballpark" has affected their attendance, are you also planning to ask them if they are aware that ~99% of the "financial support" comes straight out of the hides of tourists who pay the M-D County 6% hotel bed tax, and not from local taxpayers?

 

 

 

 

There is still an opportunity cost there. It isn't like the options are give the money to the Marlins or burn it in a fire.

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I am doing a research project for the University of Louisville studying the attitudes of Miami-Dade County residents towards the Miami Marlins organization and the local government’s financial support of the new ballpark (and how it has affected their attendance).

 

 

So, after you ask them about whether "the local government’s financial support of the new ballpark" has affected their attendance, are you also planning to ask them if they are aware that ~99% of the "financial support" comes straight out of the hides of tourists who pay the M-D County 6% hotel bed tax, and not from local taxpayers?

 

 

 

 

There is still an opportunity cost there. It isn't like the options are give the money to the Marlins or burn it in a fire.

 

 

 

And whatever revenue might have been generated and jobs created by spending that money on something else, albeit tourism related, are part of that opportunity cost.

 

But I'll admit I'm a hypocrite about it. No, public money should not be used to subsidize a major league ballpark... unless perhaps it's my team's ballpark. I honestly don't think there would be a Marlins Park right now without some public funding.

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The Dade County general fund has more money because of Marlins Park, not the other way around.

 

 

I don't think anyone suggested the general fund lost money. The question is whether using the tourism tax dollars on something other than the ballpark would have been better. It seems like a valid question, but I have no idea what the other choices would have been.

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The Dade County general fund has more money because of Marlins Park, not the other way around.

 

 

I don't think anyone suggested the general fund lost money. The question is whether using the tourism tax dollars on something other than the ballpark would have been better. It seems like a valid question, but I have no idea what the other choices would have been.

 

This discussion has gone off-track on "opportunity cost" and "using the tourism tax dollars on something other than the ballpark" as if the funds spent are just part of general revenue.

 

The 1% tax (1/6th of the total 6% "hotel bed tax") is, by ordinance, a dedicated Professional Sports Facility Tax:

 

Miami-Dade County collects a 6% (bed tax) on all transient rentals (less than 6 months) in all areas of the County except for Bal Harbour and Miami Beach. 3% of this tax is a Convention Development Tax, 1% of this tax is a Professional Sports Facility Tax, and the last 2% of this tax is a TOURIST DEVELOPMENT TAX.

 

http://www.sfrpc.com/ftp/pub/watershed/26Jan06%20Exhibit%20F.pdf

 

Florida Statute 125.0104 authorizes all of this and section (3)(l) lays out the very limited universe of things that a 1% Professional Sports Facility Tax can be spent on:

 

(l) In addition to any other tax which is imposed pursuant to this section, a county may impose up to an additional 1-percent tax on the exercise of the privilege described in paragraph (a) by majority vote of the governing board of the county in order to:

 

1. Pay the debt service on bonds issued to finance the construction, reconstruction, or renovation of a professional sports franchise facility, or the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, or renovation of a retained spring training franchise facility, either publicly owned and operated, or publicly owned and operated by the owner of a professional sports franchise or other lessee with sufficient expertise or financial capability to operate such facility, and to pay the planning and design costs incurred prior to the issuance of such bonds.

 

2. Pay the debt service on bonds issued to finance the construction, reconstruction, or renovation of a convention center, and to pay the planning and design costs incurred prior to the issuance of such bonds.

 

3. Pay the operation and maintenance costs of a convention center for a period of up to 10 years. Only counties that have elected to levy the tax for the purposes authorized in subparagraph 2. may use the tax for the purposes enumerated in this subparagraph. Any county that elects to levy the tax for the purposes authorized in subparagraph 2. after July 1, 2000, may use the proceeds of the tax to pay the operation and maintenance costs of a convention center for the life of the bonds.

 

4. Promote and advertise tourism in the State of Florida and nationally and internationally; however, if tax revenues are expended for an activity, service, venue, or event, the activity, service, venue, or event shall have as one of its main purposes the attraction of tourists as evidenced by the promotion of the activity, service, venue, or event to tourists.

 

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0100-0199/0125/Sections/0125.0104.html

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The Dade County general fund has more money because of Marlins Park, not the other way around.

 

 

I don't think anyone suggested the general fund lost money. The question is whether using the tourism tax dollars on something other than the ballpark would have been better. It seems like a valid question, but I have no idea what the other choices would have been.

 

This discussion has gone off-track on "opportunity cost" and "using the tourism tax dollars on something other than the ballpark" as if the funds spent are just part of general revenue.

 

The 1% tax (1/6th of the total 6% "hotel bed tax") is, by ordinance, a dedicated Professional Sports Facility Tax:

 

Miami-Dade County collects a 6% (bed tax) on all transient rentals (less than 6 months) in all areas of the County except for Bal Harbour and Miami Beach. 3% of this tax is a Convention Development Tax, 1% of this tax is a Professional Sports Facility Tax, and the last 2% of this tax is a TOURIST DEVELOPMENT TAX.

 

http://www.sfrpc.com/ftp/pub/watershed/26Jan06%20Exhibit%20F.pdf

 

Florida Statute 125.0104 authorizes all of this and section (3)(l) lays out the very limited universe of things that a 1% Professional Sports Facility Tax can be spent on:

 

(l) In addition to any other tax which is imposed pursuant to this section, a county may impose up to an additional 1-percent tax on the exercise of the privilege described in paragraph (a) by majority vote of the governing board of the county in order to:

 

1. Pay the debt service on bonds issued to finance the construction, reconstruction, or renovation of a professional sports franchise facility, or the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, or renovation of a retained spring training franchise facility, either publicly owned and operated, or publicly owned and operated by the owner of a professional sports franchise or other lessee with sufficient expertise or financial capability to operate such facility, and to pay the planning and design costs incurred prior to the issuance of such bonds.

 

2. Pay the debt service on bonds issued to finance the construction, reconstruction, or renovation of a convention center, and to pay the planning and design costs incurred prior to the issuance of such bonds.

 

3. Pay the operation and maintenance costs of a convention center for a period of up to 10 years. Only counties that have elected to levy the tax for the purposes authorized in subparagraph 2. may use the tax for the purposes enumerated in this subparagraph. Any county that elects to levy the tax for the purposes authorized in subparagraph 2. after July 1, 2000, may use the proceeds of the tax to pay the operation and maintenance costs of a convention center for the life of the bonds.

 

4. Promote and advertise tourism in the State of Florida and nationally and internationally; however, if tax revenues are expended for an activity, service, venue, or event, the activity, service, venue, or event shall have as one of its main purposes the attraction of tourists as evidenced by the promotion of the activity, service, venue, or event to tourists.

 

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0100-0199/0125/Sections/0125.0104.html

 

 

 

I wasn't aware of the 1% provision for professional sports facilities. Was it already in place before a new ballpark was ever proposed or was it written to allow the County to invest in the ballpark they knew the Marlins wanted?

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I wasn't aware of the 1% provision for professional sports facilities. Was it already in place before a new ballpark was ever proposed or was it written to allow the County to invest in the ballpark they knew the Marlins wanted?

 

Miami-Dade imposed the 1% Professional Sports Facilities tax on transient rentals in 1990.

 

The Florida law authorizing it has been around since 1977.

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But I'll admit I'm a hypocrite about it. No, public money should not be used to subsidize a major league ballpark... unless perhaps it's my team's ballpark. I honestly don't think there would be a Marlins Park right now without some public funding.

 

You're not a hypocrite at all.

 

Pro sports teams (and too many businesses, if given the opportunity) are rent-seekers. Sometimes they succeed, sometimes not.

 

Certainly, there is no convincing evidence that pro sports facilities do anything other than divert spending from one (or many) existing entertainment venue(s) to a new one. There is no demonstrated good economic reason that any taxpayer money, whether tourist or local should ever be spent on building sports venues. There are dozens of studies that show the "economic growth" argument for building stadiums on the government dime is sheer hogwash.

 

You're quite right that the ballpark wouldn't exist without involuntary tax support from tourists. And, at the same time, we're all happy that it happened, even though there is no good economic justification for it.

 

In fact, the 1% tax depresses "transient rentals" (otherwise known as hotel stays) below what they otherwise would have been, so there is a long-term downside in terms of local employment. The politicians never, ever mention that fact, they only promote the one-shot, short-term addition of construction jobs to build whatever it is they want built.

 

In a perfect world, it would never happen. But it did, so we can only object to the idiocy of it while being pleased that the non-optimal outcome kept MLB in Miami.

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