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Front Page » Top Stories » Florida Marlins Miami Dolphins And Heat Face New Tax Foe

Florida Marlins Miami Dolphins And Heat Face New Tax Foe

Written by on February 3, 2011

By Zachary S. Fagenson
A state senator’s attempt to derail the Miami Dolphins’ grand plan to increase tourist taxes to upgrade Sun Life Stadium and the Miami Beach Convention Center could also send hefty tax bills to three Miami-Dade pro teams.

Bradenton Republican Mike Bennett, who once sponsored a bill similar to the one Rep. Erik Fresen has filed to allow county commissions to raise bed taxes and spend the added proceeds on stadiums and convention centers, has filed a bill that would require voter approval to use any taxes for professional sports facilities and would strip those on public land of their tax exemption.

Mr. Bennett could not be reached, but if passed his bill would force the Dolphins to pay taxes on their stadium, which the property appraiser values at $122.5 million, including the about $17 million county-owned land it sits on.

At the same time, the Miami Heat would have to pay tax on its waterfront arena that the appraiser in 2010 valued at $138.4 million sitting on a $26.4 million piece of county land.

The Florida Marlins’ stadium rising in Little Havana would be taxable, too. The appraiser in 2010 valued the largest portion of old Orange Bowl site at $3.1 million. That could multiply many times once the stadium opens.

The Dolphins’ plan sits in Tallahassee, under scrutiny by House committees. Palm Beach County Republican Sen. Joe Negron has filed an identical bill.

The bill would allow counties to raise one tourist tax by 1 percentage point and expand its collection countywide with the bulk for sports facilities, allow up to 49.9% of the added funds for convention center improvements and use the sports funds across county lines.

Additional advisory boards are being discussed for financially troubled Jackson Hospital. Read the complete story when you subscribe to e-Miami Today.