Lawmaker wants voters to decide if tax money goes to stadiums

3:45 PM, Mar 7, 2007   |    comments
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A southwest Florida lawmaker says that with money tight and many residents facing skyrocketing homeowners insurance premiums and rising property taxes, the Legislature has no business providing tax breaks for professional sports franchises.

Senator Mike Bennett, a Republican from Bradenton, says any money spent to build or refurbish pro sports facilities should be decided by the voters instead.

Bennett has not yet filed a bill to establish a voter referendum. Miami lawmakers in both the House and Senate, however, are pushing legislation designed to provide a $60 million tax rebate to help the Florida Marlins build a half-billion dollar, retractable-roof park at a site yet to be determined.

Proposals for a new Marlins ballpark have failed several times at the Legislature in this decade, and the team has hinted it would leave for another location without a stadium deal in South Florida.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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