By Lou Ortiz
The Florida Marlins want $4.4 million in sales tax exemptions and waivers on $1.7 million in local impact fees to help lower their share of costs in building a $525 million baseball stadium.
The Marlins also want the City of Miami or Miami-Dade County to provide the team with at least 3,000 square feet of office space within 2 miles of the Orange Bowl that the team can use for marketing work. The space must be provided within six months of a permanent contract among all three entities.
The construction cost-cutting and the office space issues are part of a preliminary contract agreement among the Marlins, the city and the county included in a 50-page account of the proposed deal released by the county Jan. 18.
The team wants the state to exempt construction materials from its sales tax, which would save $4.4 million, and another $1.7 million in waivers from city and county impact fees.
The sales tax waiver would need an OK from the Legislature, which is looking to cut this year's budget $1 billion.
On Tuesday, county Mayor Carlos Alvarez said the Marlins contract could be done by Friday.
"We've been meeting as late as yesterday [Monday] afternoon," Mr. Alvarez told the county commission during its meeting.
Negotiations among Miami, the Marlins, Major League Baseball representatives and the county have included talks about the possibility of the team moving its spring training operations to Homestead or Homestead getting a minor league club.
"We've had those discussions with Major League Baseball, and we're continuing the dialogue," County Manager George Burgess said.
The City of Homestead built the $22 million sports complex in 1991 as a spring training facility for the Cleveland Indians.