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Dolphins May Be Up Against Jaguars, Speedway, Soccer for Tax Deals

January 29, 2013 - 6:00pm

Efforts by Miami-Dade County to use bed tax money to help the Miami Dolphins pay for $400 million in stadium improvements may be tied down by the wants of other communities asking legislators for tax breaks on their own pro facilities.

Bills have been filed, Senate Bill 358 and House Bill 219, that would provide sales tax breaks on a $90 million to $100 million, 18,000-to-20,000-seat soccer stadium that would allow Orlando to attract Major League Soccer to Florida.

Meanwhile, House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, said he expects proposals to be made to help cover upgrades at Daytona International Speedway and EverBank Stadium for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

I dont think we can deal with any of those issues individually, Weatherford said on Wednesday.

We have breathing room in our budget, so were going to have to determine what our priorities are.

Next week, the Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee is scheduled to review Senate Bill 306 that seeks to increase the bed tax a penny to help cover the Dolphins' Sun Lite Stadium renovations.

Miami-Dade County commissioners have agreed to lobby state legislators for the bed tax increase as they continue to negotiate with the Dolphins over the stadium upgrades.

Still smarting from the Miami Marlins' $640 million taxpayer-funded stadium deal, county officials are seeking to increase the 51 percent that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, a billionaire real estate broker, has promised to contribute to Sun Lite improvements.

Reach Jim Turner at or at (772) 215-9889.

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