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Bill protecting Miami from property taxes on new Marlins ballpark garages signed by Gov. Rick Scott

Gov. Rick Scott signed on Friday a measure that includes language exempting Miami from having to pay property taxes on parking garages at the new Marlins ballpark in Little Havana.

Florida House Bill 7097 will ensure that the city does not have to pay $1.2 million a year in property taxes for essentially leasing the city-owned garages to the Marlins, a private entity, for home games and other events during the baseball season.

Lawmakers approved the legislation, pushed by Miami-Dade lawmakers and delegation chairman Rep. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, on the last day of the annual session in Tallahassee.

The term-limited Lopez-Cantera is now running against Miami-Dade Property Appraiser Pedro Garcia, who had said he might have to charge the city the taxes. Lopez-Cantera had not considered jumping in the race until the tax dispute over the garages arose.

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