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Sun Life Stadium Upgrade Bill Passes First State Senate Committee Unanimously

Gargoyle wants that tax cheddar!
Gargoyle wants that tax cheddar!

The Miami Dolphins are off to a good start as far jumping into the Fleecing Tax Payers Pants Party stadium renovation party goes.

Lawmakers in the Florida Senate Commerce Committee gave unanimous support to a bill that would secure taxpayer money to cover half of the planned $400 million upgrades to Sun Life Stadium.

See also:
Miami Dolphins Want $400 Million to Renovate Stadium but Swear They're Totally Not the Marlins

The bill supposedly dips into higher hotel bed taxes and a new sales tax rebate to help fund the renovation, which sounds like a fantastic idea but would be really dumb.

Dolphins CEO Mike Dee and superlobbyist Ron Book presented the argument that the bill would allow the Fins to collect an annual $3 million in sales tax rebates from the state for the next 30 years, as well as millions more in new bed taxes.

The bill is sponsored by Sen. Oscar Braynon (D-Miami Gardens) and got the proverbial thumbs-up from Miami Sen. Gwen Margolis, who said, "You know that they're going to employ more people. You know that it's going to bring in more money."

More jobs, you say? EVERYBODY DO THE SNOOPY DANCE!

Sounds fantastic, but the fact is, a huge chunk of economic research has shown time and time again that tax-funded stadiums and/or renovations have pretty much no impact on the local economy. Sometimes the impact even goes the complete opposite way (*cough*Marlins Park*cough*).

The idea that Sun Life being renovated will magically sprinkle jobs and money on everyone is a load of horseshit.

Stadiums simply do not create new wealth.

"This is a critical time for our community with respect to the future of big-time events coming to South Florida," Dee said at the hearing.

And apparently the decision makers ate it up, because of course they did.

Norman Braman, who openly opposed the new Marlins ballpark, says the bill will die once things get more serious.

"This will not pass finally in Tallhassee," Braman said. "It will probably get past the committee this week. But that's throwing a bone to the lobbyist."

It's not clear whether the Super Dome blackout during Sunday's Super Bowl will help or hurt the Dolphins' bid.

But then again, when feel-good myths about job creation and money trees being planted in everyone's backyard are being spread around like bags of free Skittles to people who are not smart enough to see through the horse poop, does it really matter?

Follow Chris Joseph on Twitter.





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