Miami-Dade’s top hotel group endorsed raising hotel taxes to help fund a roughly $400 million renovation of Sun Life Stadium, provided some of the new revenue goes to a tourism advertising campaign for the county.
The vote by the Greater Miami and the Beaches Hotel Association gives the Miami Dolphins a key endorsement as the team prepares for a referendum needed to enact the financing plan.
As a group that lobbies for the hotel industry, the hotel association represents businesses that would see their customers pay slightly higher taxes if the Dolphins get the plan approved.
The Dolphins’ plan would increase taxes on mainland hotels to 7 percent from 6 percent, but leave hotel taxes unchanged in Miami Beach, Bal Harbour and Surfside.
A higher hotel tax would generate about $10 million a year now, and the Dolphins have not said publicly how much of that money the team wants for an upgrade that would include new VIP seating and a partial roof. When the plan was unveiled in January, Dolphins CEO Mike Dee said the team might request only a portion of the revenue generated by the higher tax each year.
The trade group’s resolution cites the value of an upgraded Sun Life continuing to host Super Bowls and college football championships, along with other major sporting and entertainment events.
"It’s imperative that the stadium’s amenities remain competitive,’’ the association’s chairman, Raj Singh, said in a statement. Raj is general manager of the Sea View Hotel in Bal Harbour.
More from Douglas Hanks here.