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Why the Senate president voted against the stadium deal

by Dara Kam | April 29th, 2013

As NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross peered down into the chamber from the public gallery late this afternoon, Senate President Don Gaetz pushed the red button rejecting a deal that could steer taxpayer money to refurbish the stadium.

Gaetz, a Niceville Republican, said he voted against the bill (SB 306) “because I have to go home to Northwest Florida.”

The deal signed off on by the Senate on Monday did not include a provision in an earlier version of the bill that would have eliminated a tax break for foreign banks in exchange for the professional sports franchises tax incentive.

That was “one of the better things about the arrangement,” Gaetz said.

Even that would not likely have coaxed a favorable vote, however, Gaetz told reporters.

While the bill is “a whole lot better” in other ways, Gaetz still doesn’t like the idea that there’s nothing in it that offsets the cost to the state for what could be millions of dollars – up to $13 million a year – in tax breaks.

The Department of Economic Opportunity would have to rank the teams and give the recommendations to the Legislature, who would have the ultimate say, meaning “they’re not being handed out on the basis of who had the best lobbyist,” Gaetz said.

But he said that without swapping the tax break on foreign banks there isn’t “a way to actually pay for the tax incentives. And I wish there would have been.”

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2 Responses to “Why the Senate president voted against the stadium deal”

  1. OBIWAN Says:

    Make up your PBP mind?

    You don’t want free GOVT handouts?

    Except when you get to take a cheap shot at the Senate President?

    At least he has a reason he can explain. Not so with the Marxist pulp filling most all ‘news’, ‘news analysis’, ‘commentary’ as well as the expected ‘editorials’ churned out here from the DNC daily talking points.

    Is it true Rep Debbie Wasserman-Schultz give special expedited delivery to her namesake?

  2. Searcher1 Says:

    This is CORPORATE WELFARE to the tune of $13 MILLION PER YEAR. I bet that $13 million could pay for more advertising to promote tourism,additional lifeguards, and many other worthy things.

    I thought the TEAliban didn’t like WELFARE. HYPOCRITES!!!!!!

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