Monday, November 3, 2014

Requests for State Stadium Subsidies Come Pouring In

Florida's rich history includes orange juice, hurricanes, and handing over barrels of money to rich sports teams and leagues.  But now, with a new law requiring proposed recipients to prove their need and worthiness, will that slow the spigot of public cash subsidizing private businesses?

Doesn't look like, according to a story I saw on
The Miami Dolphins, Orlando City MLS, Daytona International Speedway, and the Jacksonville Jaguars have submitted a combined $9 million in requests for tax incentives, more than what the state has to spend.

South Florida lobbyist Ron Book said the Dolphins application was deemed complete on Friday and that the team is seeking $3 million in the current fiscal year.

Gray Robinson shareholder Chris Carmody called the City of Orlando’s response to the application “voluminous.” It is seeking $2 million for the next 30 years or a $60 million incentive. The Orlando City Soccer club begins playing in 2015.

Daytona International Speedway applied for $3 million and the Jacksonville Jaguars had applied for $1 million.

Applications were due to the Department of Economic Opportunity on November 1, a Saturday. The department has 60 days to review the applications and must, by February 1, give a list to the Legislature identifying which projects deserve the funding and in what order. There is no requirement for the Legislature to abide by the department’s recommendations.
Will the new - and supposedly improved - program be anything more than a rubber stamp?

Will the process limit the state's eight-figure annual stadium subsidies to the projects that truly need and deserve it?

And will outside influences lead the DEO and/or legislature to hand over millions anyway?

Insight on all of those questions could be gleamed from what the Jaguars did late last week, when they hired one of the state's top lobbyists, Brian Ballard.

No comments:

Post a Comment