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Miami-Dade mayor asks Florida whether Dolphins can pay for special election on stadium renovations

@PatriciaMazzei

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez formally asked the Florida Division of Elections on Thursday to opine on whether a private entity -- the Miami Dolphins -- could cover the costs of a county election.

The Dolphins have agreed to a special election to ask Miami-Dade voters to raise mainland hotel taxes to partly fund a proposed $400 million renovation to Sun Life Stadium. The county elections department estimates the referendum would cost $3 million to $5 million.

When the team accepted his referendum condition, Gimenez said the county would have to bear the election expense because an existing state opinion from the 1980s prohibiting private companies from funding an election.

But in his request to Maria Mathews, head of the elections division, Gimenez also noted that state law was amended in 1992 to require parimutuels to indirectly pay for elections by depositing a sum with the county to cover the costs.

"I do not believe...that the taxpayers of Miami-Dade County should be forced to shoulder the costs (estimated between $3-5 million) of this election brought about by a request from a private party," Gimenez wrote. "I therefore intend to require the Miami Dolphins organization to pay for the costs of such an election."

Racetracks indirectly reimbursed Miami-Dade and Broward for nearly $7 million spent on a special gambling election in 2005.

Several county commissioners have said the Dolphins should pay for the election.

Comments

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MiamiLibre

If the dolphins agree, I am switching my vote from no to yes out of respect to Ross for doing this the right way without spending a dime of county resident $. Wonder if other NFL owners are ticked at Ross for doing this deal, which is an awful deal for an owner by NFL standards (average public contribution of 80+%)

Jax NFL

Jaguars are guilty too.

No More Rick Scott

Republicans will vote for a primary candidate or not vote at all.

GrouchyOldManWhoVotes

This special election, set so that the NFL can jockey for tax payers dollars, will obligate citizens to leave work to make sure and vote -- and we will, for fear that someone has dreamed up an absentee ballot scheme to stack the vote in favor of Mr. Ross. We cut down the number of early election days during the last election. I stood in the hot sun for 4 hours to vote. This is a slap in the face, Mr. Mayor. I am horrified.

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