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Reps Bileca & Trujillo bash Miami Dolphins' owner for 'dishonest political attack'

@MarcACaputo

A Miami Herald op-ed from Miami State Representatives Carlos Trujillo and Michael Bileca, who have been targeted by the Miami Dolphins for opposing the team's publicly financed stadium plans:

Since the early days of football, the sport and politics have been intertwined in our national identity.

There are even superstitions established around professional teams like the Washington Redskins and the outcome of presidential elections.

The popularity of football and the competitive drive demonstrated by players and teams is something we can all relate to. It does not, however, mean that our tax dollars should support a billion-dollar industry when Florida’s families are struggling to make ends meet.

Recently, Steven Ross, the Dolphins’ owner, asked South Florida taxpayers to foot the bill for renovations to Sun Life Stadium.

While the bad stadium deal that the Florida Marlins imposed upon our community still remains fresh in minds, voters in Miami-Dade opposed Ross’ request for free taxpayer money by a 3-to-1 margin.

When the Florida House chose to defend South Florida taxpayers instead of forcing the issue onto the ballot, Ross decided to spend some of his personal fortune on dishonest political attack ads against us.

For many families, it’s a challenge to even attend a professional sporting event these days, let alone pay more in sales taxes for stadium renovations. Considering that the cost to attend a regular season Dolphins game for a family of four would cost $340 for tickets, parking, four hot dogs and soft drinks, it’s easy to understand why new subsidies for Ross’ business were unpopular with voters.

Furthermore, as the owner of Sun Life Stadium, he already collects $2 million in extra profits every year thanks to an annual sales tax subsidy given to the facility since the mid-1990s.

This year, Ross asked the Florida Legislature to boost that annual payment, which would have equaled a total of $90 million over 30 years with no strings attached. We do not hide from our strong and vocal position against this type of corporate welfare.

As elected representatives for the families of South Florida, our focus is, and will remain, protecting families’ hard-earned tax dollars and improving the quality of life in our state.

As fans of NFL football — especially the Miami Dolphins — we always want to see our team excel, but given the choice between providing funding for priorities important to middle-class families like public schools and transportation or raising taxes to subsidize the Miami Dolphins’ stadium renovations, we choose families. Ross is free to spend his personal fortune on political attack ads if he wishes, but if he instead invested some of his wealth on the stadium he owns, perhaps he wouldn’t have to try to bully South Florida families into giving him more of their hard-earned tax dollars.


Comments

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Miami Republicans

A vote for Carlos Curbelo is a vote for Charlie Crist.

Chuck VanDyke

So what you are saying is that the people of Florida are too stupid to make their own decisions. You politicians know what is best for us and there is no need for us to have to vote on it? Thank you so much for saving us from ourselves. Lol. What a joke.

Drew

Ditto. They miss the point entirely. It doesn't matter what they think is "best" for tax payers, it's what the "people" decide is best for the state or country for that matter and the only way to do that is with a vote. If we voted to not provide funds to Ross than so be it, but its our right to say yes or no.

Ed Jenkins

Good jobs Bileca and Trujillo, there is no reason to even let this stealing of taxpayers' money by a billionaire even get off the ground.

Vanessa y Humberto

My wife and I called our State Representative, State Senator, and County Commissioner's offices to voice our opposition to the stadium. I'm glad that these guys listened to the concerns of their constituents and fought another stadium fiasco.

Tammy

Ross would be much better off putting all the money he is spending trying to get a free stadium on 1) paying for his own renovations; and 2) IMPROVING THE TEAM. Let's face it, it's not like they're winners...

Sean

Right...why give the people the right to make their own choices about how to spend the money they earn when you can allow the self-invested politicians bought by special interest groups to continue their wealth redistribution politics as they see fit. I mean it's obvious they know what they are doing with your money, right? It's obvious that they are better qualified than you to make the decisions about how you live your life and spend your money. Look at what great shape our economy is in thanks to these guys..Why should I be allowed to go to a game in a nice stadium and enjoy the amenities if I want when I can instead give the money directly to the welfare state? Oh that's right, because I EARNED IT! People should have the right to vote on how their money is spent, not allowing pompous unqualified individuals to determine what's "best". you idiots are the ones that gave the Marlins the bad stadium deal in the first place...also without a public referendum I might add. Grow up or shut up!

drew

It's the "make believe" responses above defending our inability to think for ourselves thats the most disturbing. If their staffers are going to post their masters brainwashing gibberish as a "citizens concerned response" then they should not make it so obvious. they need to practice how the "common folk" speak since were so dang ignerent..duh huh

Sally

Let me get this right..... The rich don't want taxes to pay for healthcare, they don't want taxes to pay for services (fire, e.m.s., police), they don't want to pay income taxes (GE doesn't pay any taxes), but they want us to pay for their stadium? Hmmmph? The dumbing down of America is in overdrive!!

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