As 42 Million Marlins Ballpark Bonding Advances Tax Flow Sizzles
By Ashley Hopkins
The new Marlins stadium in Little Havana may be costing Miami-Dade County a pretty penny, but despite a $42 million bond sale that’s making its way down the legislative pipeline, high tourism tax revenues may have pushed the county’s payback 10 years ahead of schedule.
According to Jennifer Glazer-Moon, county budget director, if the trend continues, the county could reach its targeted shortfall reserve balance within seven years.
While the county commission approved Tuesday a $42 million bond sale to help fund the ballpark, the issue is to come back for a hearing July 7. According to county documents, if approved the bonds would cover $35 million in construction fees and $2 million in soft costs related to issuance of the bonds and the creation of a stadium reserve fund.
According to the ballpark’s construction agreement, Miami-Dade is to contribute $347.5 million, the City of Miami is to contribute $13.5 million and the Marlins are to contribute $154 million to the $515 million project.
According to Jose Galan, program legislation chief for the Office of Capital Improvements, as of March the team had paid vendors just over $31.9 million for soft costs that include design.
The county is to finance $237.5 million through tourist taxes, $60 million though the Convention Development Tax and $50 million through general obligation bonds.
It is to contribute an additional $35 million in county bonds to the project, which the Marlins are to repay over time.
In addition to the $35 million, the team is required to fork over a $2.3 million yearly in rent, which will grow 2% a year and is included in the team’s $154 million tab.
The Marlins are to contribute $750,000 a year for 35 years to the stadium’s capital reserve fund and pay the county $6.2 million once Miami-Dade has made its full contribution to the project, Mr. Galan said.
According to county documents, "because it is anticipated that the total debt service on the bonds will be less than the total amount of payments to be received by the county, the fiscal impact on the county’s available… revenues, if any, should be positive."
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