Supporters lobby for tax break stadium bill in Florida

May 3, 2013 at 1:52 PM
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla., May 3 (UPI) -- Florida state Senate supporters of sports franchises including the Miami Dolphins are lobbying the Florida House to pass a tax break bill for a new stadium.

State Sens. Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando; David Simmons, R-Altamonte Springs; and Oscar Braynon, D-Miami, are urging House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, to bring the package to the floor, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Friday.

Weatherford said the bill, which would create a process for sports franchises to compete for $13 million in sales tax rebates each year, still contains Miami-Dade local tax issues that many consider to be objectionable.

He said the bill may have to be amended and sent back to the state Senate.

"I would say that has an uphill battle," Weatherford said Thursday.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer is also pushing for passage of the bill, as it would allow the city to go forward with a $110 million stadium construction project officials hope will allow the city to get a Major League Soccer franchise.

The Dolphins are seeking a $3 million annual sales tax rebate from the bill as well as the power to use local taxes to renovate Sun Life Stadium in the hopes of attracting another Super Bowl to the city.

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