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A Legislature lifeline on Marlins stadium deal: No taxes on parking garage

A Miami Herald story on the city of Miami’s controversial Marlins’ stadium contract--which left it on the hook for an unexpected property tax bill--summed it up with an all-encompassing one-word sentence: “Oopsie.”

Now, the state Legislature may be giving the city a lifeline on its surprise contract with the Marlins.

An amendment filed this week by Rep. Jose Diaz (R-Miami), would change the Florida Statutes by including new language to exempt cities from having to pay taxes on buildings that are contractually tied to tax-exempt facilities (read: taxpayer-funded stadiums). The amended bill, if it passes, would save the city as much as $2 million per year, an amount that took city commissioners by surprise in November when they learned about their soon-to-come property tax bill.

As part of the government-backed $642 million stadium contract, the Marlins included an unusual clause stating that the city is responsible for all taxes.

The amendment is “meant to protect city of Miami taxpayers from having to pay additional taxes,” said Diaz. “I can not imagine that the city was going to have to pay more taxes on the stadium.”

Diaz’s amendment, which was a small part of a wide-ranging tax reform bill, was passed unanimously with no debate at Wednesday’s Finance and Tax Committee in the House.