Floridians, as well as all Americans across the country have been fuming over the fact that for years, state legislators have been pushing to have state funds, or taxpayers dollars, subsidize arena and stadium construction projects.
The recent construction of Marlins Park in Miami, is one of these ventures that turned out to be nothing more than misspent money. Attendance is in the gutter, and the $347 million it cost to build the stadium will actually cost Floridians close to a $1 billion dollars once the dust settles.
The Marlins stadium deal is such an easy target because in no other case has the recipient of huge subsidies so brazenly turned around and slashed team payroll to lowest in the league. Furthermore, the Marlins stadium agreement only required the team to pay nearly a third of the building costs, while it awarded Marlins ownership 100% of stadium-related revenues — not exactly what sounds like an equal partnership.-Forbes
The Florida legislature had the opportunity this week to cut sports incentives from the yearly budget, the Legislative Budget Commission (LBC) decided to put off the committee vote, or to describe it in Parliamentary terms, table the motion.
Rep. Richard Corcoran (R), who is the chairman of the budget commission, was one of the loudest voices of opposition to using taxpayer dollars to fund sports projects.
“This is a reverse, perverse Robin Hood. We’re going to take from the hard-working taxpayers and give it to the rich people. I don’t understand that at all.”-Rep. Richard Corcoran (R)
Grassroots heavyweights Americans for Prosperity (AFP) were not all too happy with the decision by the commission to kick the vote down the road, saying that they expected the body to “take a real stand on this issue.”
“We expected the LBC to take a real stand on this issue…Unfortunately the members decided to punt the issue downfield and we will have to wait and see when and how it will come back up throughout session.”-Chris Hudson, AFP Florida President
But should anyone be surprised by this move? Not really.