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Stadium bill pits banks against Miami Dolphins in Florida Senate

As the Dolphins’ stadium bill scores victories in Tallahassee, Miami’s banking industry may be facing off against its favorite football team.

Both local institutions find themselves on opposite ends of the Senate version of the Dolphins’ bill, which was amended this week to kill a tax break for foreign banks in Florida as a way to pay for a new stadium subsidy. Miami banks have an estimated $6 billion in foreign deposits, and industry lobbyists are warning the bill as written could thin out a staple of the city’s financial scene.

“Banks can easily move’’ to states that have the tax break, including Georgia and New York, said Anthony DiMarco, the top lobbyist for the Florida Bankers Association. “They’re paying employees down there that are making good money. That probably will be moving out of Miami.”

The amendment would end a 1980s law that shields Florida banks from paying corporate taxes on revenue earned from foreign deposits and offshore loans. Backers of the amendment say that because of changes in federal banking law, multi-state banks can now qualify for lower Florida tax bills even if their foreign-deposit facilities are located in other states.

“This exemption, quite frankly... has outlived its usefulness,’’ said the amendment’s sponsor, Sen. Dorothy Hukill, a Republican representing Volusia County.

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