« Healthcare groups ramp up criticism of proposed hospital cuts | Main | Gaffes, miscalculations toll on Romney after win in FL. MI loss would set off 'panic' »

Inside baseball over the Marlins stadium could affect two S. Fla. political races

At the epicenter of this week’s latest political moves in South Florida: Parking garages at the new Miami Marlins stadium, and the taxes that may or may not be due on them.

Earlier this month, Rep. Jose Diaz, R-Miami, filed a bill amendment that would exempt Miami from paying property taxes on the Marlins parking garages. Rep. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, R-Miami, is backing the stadium amendment, and he might be tied into this politically as well. Read on. 

Diaz’s likely political opponent in a newly drawn district, Rep. Ana Rivas Logan, R-Miami, has filed an amendment that would delete the stadium language from the bill.

Logan and Diaz are headed for what could be a political crash course to represent the newly-drawn district that includes both Republicans’ turf. Logan said her move to scratch-out Diaz’s amendment was not politically motivated. The bill heads to the floor Tuesday for a hearing.

“I would’ve filed this amendment regardless of the political ramifications,” she said.

Another political race where the stadium issue might come up: Miami-Dade Property Appraiser.

New talk in political circles hinted that Lopez-Cantera might run for Miami-Dade property appraiser, a position currently held by Pedro Garcia. It was Garcia who alerted the city of Miami last year that it may have to pay as much as $2 million in taxes for the parking garages.

Lopez-Cantera would not confirm or deny the rumor about a run for property appraiser.

“I’m focused on my job as chairman of the [Miami-Dade] delegation, and Representative of District 113,” said Lopez-Cantera, who also holds a powerful position as Majority Leader and is term-limited. “It is premature to discuss what I’ll be doing after that.”

The bill, if it passes, would potentially force Garcia to decide whether to sue the city of Miami—and by extension, the taxpayers—for the taxes, a politically dangerous move in an election year.

Lopez-Cantera said he’s pushing the tax exemption not for political reasons, but to save Miami taxpayers in his district from paying taxes on a poorly-written contract with the Marlins.

Logan says she thinks the bill lets the Marlins off the proverbial hook, too easily. She wants Miami to sue the Marlins over the contract, and get the tax money from the ballteam that way.

“The city of Miami should sue the Marlins and go after them for that money,” she said. “Why are we looking for the easy way out?”

While House analysts have pointed out that the exemption may be unconstitutional, there has been no debate about that part.

Logan said she had no plans to withdraw the amendment before Tuesday's vote, even if it means a showdown with Majority Leader Lopez-Cantera.

She said Diaz’s name is on the amendment, so he should be willing to stand by it.

“If Diaz filed the amendment, it’s his amendment,” she said. “We’re big boys and girls.”

--@ToluseO

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Informed voter

I don't understand Logan, why would she force the citizens of Miami to pay for a law suit when they can resolve this issue in Tallahase. She alienates people instead of winning friends, this is a good amendment.

I will not support Lopez Cantera if he runs for an another office, I have been disappointed with him and I think Pedro Garcia has done a good job.

Marie Alexander

Go Ana go! We loved you on the School Board and now you are doing the same thing in Tallahassee. A no nonsense elected official who is willing to stand up for the little guy. Those other guys are sneaky by trying to do this and sticking it to the taxpayers.

Maria Tejeda

Ana Rivas Logan is without a doubt a dumb twit. She wants to force taxpayers to either pay $2 million dollars or pay for litigation with the Marlins.

Her whole agenda is political, what good has she done??? The answer is nothing, she is screwing us over!

Laddu

WoW..stupid much?. A.) the law isn't anti immigrant It doesn't say ynhtaing about not permitting people to come here legally and it isn't rascist there are illegals from all racess B.) If you break the law expect to get asked to show Your ID its not like they can pick youup at random, if your legal, why worry? C.) We have the tired poor hungry in our own NATION! SO GO CHANGE THAT FIRST D.) Put pressure on the OTHER GOV'Ts! They need to make better living conditions. for their people

The comments to this entry are closed.