And so much for that: While the Florida state senate did approve a $2 million a year tax rebate for the Marlins last night at a quarter to midnight, the state house ended its session without taking up the bill, effectively killing it for another year. (The house actually began official debate of the bill at 11:59 pm, but the session ended one minute later.) Marlins president David Samson said while team execs were “disappointed,” they plan to continue to pursue funding for a new stadium in Hialeah, likely backed by tax increment financing.
The legislature did approve a passel of other sports subsidies, including $75 million in state money over the next 30 years for upgrades of spring-training facilities, and a $2 million a year sales-tax rebate for the Orlando Magic, matching what other teams in the state have gotten. (While most press coverage calls this $60 million, since it’s spread out over 30 years, the present value is more like $30 million.) The legislation that passed also included a provision for local governments to spend their own cut of sales taxes on their existing sports franchises – though clearly, cities are going to be a lot more willing to dole out sales-tax subsidies when it’s the state’s money, not their own, that’s at stake.