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Senator Lee, District 20 — Press Release


November 6, 2017

CONTACT: Sarah Schwirian, 8504875020

Bill to Repeal Florida's Sports Development Program Filed by Senator Tom Lee

Thonotosassa, Fla. —

Senator Tom Lee announced today he intends to repeal Florida Statute 288.11625, known as the Sports Development Program, which use sales tax dollars to pay for the construction, renovation or improvement of sports facilities.

“With the challenges our state faces funding essential education, healthcare and hurricane recovery costs, it’s hard to justify spending additional tax dollars on sports teams,” Senator Lee said. “That doesn’t mean that we don’t like having them here, or that they don’t enhance a community. But government needs to set priorities and the burden to fund these billion-dollar enterprises should not be placed on Florida’s hardworking families.”

Under the Sports Development Program, sporting projects and complexes seeking Florida tax revenue must submit proposals to be evaluated by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. Then the disbursement of funds must pass approval by the Florida Legislative Budget Commission. The state can award up to $13 million annually for all certified applicants. The maximum annual distribution for a single sports franchise facility is $3 million, and distributions can be made for up to 30 years.