County looks to take back TIF money that Tampa earmarked for Rays stadium

If you’re the sort of person who obsessively follows the details of the funding plan for the Rays stadium in Tampa that isn’t anywhere near getting built — and jeez, who wouldn’t? — you may recall that the biggest piece is the $100 million in tax-increment financing (essentially kicked-back property taxes) that is supposed to be available for the project.

Slight problem with that, it turns out: As the Tampa Tribune reports this morning (and Noah Pransky’s Shadow of the Stadium re-reports, because the Trib story apparently isn’t online), Hillsborough County is looking to reclaim some of that property tax money rather than letting the city of Tampa hand it over to developers:

“Ideally, it’s not going to be a case going forward where we continue to put 100 percent into the tax increment area,” county manager Mike Merrill said to the Trib

And while the county may ultimately think a baseball stadium is a good use of those dollars too, it stresses a point made on this blog a few months back: potential stadium dollars could be better-used elsewhere.  The Sheriff’s office, school district, county transportation department, and parks & rec department are just a few of the hungry hands hoping for a few more dollars.

If the county succeeds in recouping part of the TIF fund, that would obviously be a blow to Tampa’s hopes of building a new stadium with tax money if the Rays can ever extricate themselves from their St. Petersburg lease. Though probably not as big a blow as the other maybe $300 million that nobody has much idea how to pay for.


2 comments on “County looks to take back TIF money that Tampa earmarked for Rays stadium

  1. The County is actually right but for a more important reason. It will take another decade or so to start construction on a New Rays Stadium, and the Future Value of Money is not as valuable as Present Value ( particularly with Low Interest Rates). One more point: One of the big issues in Brooklyn New York is the fate of the money from an endowment to keep the Long Island College Hospital open. It basically disappeared, and the worst thing that could happen is something like that, where there would be no local projects or a Stadium. Better off putting it to use now and deal with the Rays in 2023.

  2. “Though probably not as big a blow as the other maybe $300 million that nobody has much idea how to pay for.”

    Well, can they borrow against their parking? I hear that’s a fantastic idea.

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