Monday, June 24, 2013

Stephen Ross Hearts Rick Scott

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is mad at House Speaker Will Weatherford for not having a floor vote on the tax subsidy for a new stadium. Ross released this statement.

Tonight, Speaker Weatherford did far more than just deny the people of Miami Dade the right to vote on an issue critical to the future of our local economy. The Speaker singlehandedly put the future of Super Bowls and other big events at risk for Miami Dade and for all of Florida. He put politics before the people and the 4,000 jobs this project would have created for Miami Dade,and that is just wrong.

I am deeply disappointed by the Speaker's decision. He gave me and many others his word that this legislation would go to the floor of the House for a vote, where I know, and he knows, we had the votes to win by a margin as large as we did in the Senate. It’s hard to understand why he would stop an election already in process and disenfranchise the 40,000 people who have already voted. I can only assume he felt it was in his political interest to do so. Time will tell if that is the case, but I am certain this decision will follow Speaker Weatherford for many years to come

I seriously doubt not having a floor vote will hurt Weatherford. A poll by Dario Moreno found that 73 percent of likely Miami-Dade County voters did not support a tax subsidy for a new stadium. The lack of public support is why Weatherford didn't have a floor vote. Ross has decided to turn to a man that loves using tax dollars for corporate profits. Yes, I am talking about Gov. Rick Scott.

The political action committee will support Republican Gov. Rick Scott's reelection next year and play a "nonpartisan" effort in other Florida races, according to Politico. The governor all but endorsed the Dolphins' proposal.

Ross, a billionaire real-estate developer, is a longtime GOP fundraiser. But he was incensed at some in his own party who blocked the stadium legislation during this year's session, chief among them House Speaker Will Weatherford. The legislation was required to allow Miami-Dade to ask voters whether public money should be spent on the stadium upgrades.

Never mind that taxpayers will pay for the new stadium and that the Miami Dolphins will reap all the profits. Never mind that studies, such as by Andrew Zimbalist and Roger G. Noll, do not provide jobs are huge financial benefits for the communities they are in.

In our forthcoming Brookings book, Sports, Jobs, and Taxes, we and 15 collaborators examine the local economic development argument from all angles: case studies of the effect of specific facilities, as well as comparisons among cities and even neighborhoods that have and have not sunk hundreds of millions of dollars into sports development. In every case, the conclusions are the same. A new sports facility has an extremely small (perhaps even negative) effect on overall economic activity and employment. No recent facility appears to have earned anything approaching a reasonable return on investment. No recent facility has been self-financing in terms of its impact on net tax revenues. Regardless of whether the unit of analysis is a local neighborhood, a city, or an entire metropolitan area, the economic benefits of sports facilities are de minimus.

State representatives Jose Felix Diaz, Carlos Trujillo and Michael Bileca by Florida Jobs First. This is a PAC created by Ross. There would be jobs created in construction of a new stadium. The long-term benefit is mostly part-time employers selling hot dogs and cleaning the stadium. Ross is overstating the economic benefits of a new stadium.

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