Dolphins propose taxing neighboring county for stadium upgrades

The owners of the Miami Dolphins have figured out how they want to pay for their proposed $225 million renovation of their stadium (I honestly have no recollection what it’s called this week), and it’s a doozy: raise Miami-Dade County hotel taxes by 1%, plus get Broward County to chip in its own hotel tax money. That’d be the Broward County that the Dolphins’ stadium isn’t actually in, if you’re keeping geographical score at home; Dolphins execs insist that this would be a good idea because all the Super Bowls they’d get from a roofed stadium would lift the whole region’s economic boats.

Increasing the Miami-Dade hotel tax — which would require a change to state law — was, you’ll recall, wildly unpopular when the Dolphins first proposed it last winter, and this latest plan looks to be stirring up even more opponents, according to the Miami Herald:

Late Wednesday the parent company of the Florida Panthers, the hockey team that plays in an arena built with Broward hotel taxes, issued a statement Wednesday night saying it was “vehemently opposed” to the Dolphins plan. The Panthers said the Dolphins want to use Broward taxes to subsidize a private facility to compete with a “publicly owned facility in Broward County.”

From the looks of things, the Dolphins are gambling that by pooling all this money, they can promise a cut of the vig to help expand the Miami Beach Convention Center, which area hotel owners would like. It seems like an awfully complicated shell game, but stranger Rube Goldberg funding schemes have come to pass.

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5 comments on “Dolphins propose taxing neighboring county for stadium upgrades

  1. Ha! That’s as laughable a proposition as I’ve ever heard. I mean I get the county the stadium is in paying should they choose to, but an adjacent county?

  2. I’ve heard people make similar proposals for Sacramento’s arena. “Tax Placer County too! They also derive benefits from a downtown Sacramento arena!”.

    Erm, namely…?

    The best they can usually do is, “They won’t have to drive to Oakland to see concerts!”.


  3. The Indianapolis Colts did exactly what the Dolphins are proposing. As part of the deal for Lucas stadium the city raised hotel taxes, fees on car rentals and the state added an additional penny tax on food and beverages (consumed food and beverages not groceries) in Marion County and the surrounding counties. The carrot they gave to the surrounding counties so they would accept that tax increase was they capped the tax at 500k for those counties and the overage would remain in the adopting county. Only one of the donut counties refused the tax increase.

  4. To be honest if you know where Dolphin stadium is, then you would know that the county line is like 1 mile North of the stadium. It is much easier and closer to stay in Broward if attending games than either downtown Miami or Miami Beach.

    Now, the Miami Beach COnvention Center is nowhere near Broward. No idea why Broward hotels would even consider that.

    The way Indy did it makes more sense if you are going to do it. The county with the stadium pays 100%, the outlying gets to keep 50%.

  5. Re: Bigieron; I wasn’t commenting on whether or not the deal made sense just how it was funded. As a taxpayer in Marion County I am not a fan of the corporate welfare that exists here; both the Colts and the Pacers get all of the perks from their facilities while the taxpayers pay the bills.

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