The readers’ forum

Don’t get tricked on Dolphins deal

 

If we let politicians trick us again on the taxpayer support of a sports stadium, then “fool me twice shame on me” applies. Here’s part of what we are not being told:

•  The proposed additional sales tax does not apply to hotels in Miami Beach, Surfside or Bal Harbour. It only applies to those on the “mainland” including Hialeah, Homestead and Doral. And just where do the majority of tourists stay overnight? Not on the mainland where hotels typically host business travelers, relatives of Miami residents and the like.

So it isn’t really tourists who will be paying these taxes.

•  The annual payment to the Dolphins has automatic annual 3-percent increases that must be paid whether or not the sales-tax collections have increased. Supposedly a reserve fund will be created, but what if that is empty?

Where is the shortfall going to come from? It’s coming from you and me;

•  The payment by the Dolphins to Miami-Dade County in 30 years is much, much less than it sounds when present value calculations are made. In fact, the agreement with the Dolphins implies that the value of the annual tax subsidy proposed for the Dolphins has a present value in 2013 of $112 million and the equivalent value of these funds in 2043, 30 years from now, would be $289 million. The agreement proposed by the politicians calls for a payment to the county of only $112 million in 30 years. Why did our politicians agree to give away the difference of $177 million to the Dolphins?

Tax support of private businesses doesn’t make sense. Giving tax support to billionaires makes even less sense. Don’t let politicians fool you twice.

Alberto G. Manrara, Coral Gables

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