Florida Senators Need to Re-Examine Their Priorities

March 18, 2013

Stop giving tax dollars to professional sports teams rather than vital services

Tallahassee, Florida—Today the Florida Senate Committee on Commerce & Tourism unanimously passed SB 922, a bill that doubles the amount of taxpayer subsidies professional sports teams can receive from $2 million to $4 million a year.  This is the second bill that increases subsidies for professional sports teams to be passed by this committee this year.

Americans for Prosperity’s Florida chapter (AFP-FL), with more than 145,000 activists, has voiced opposition to these bills and the use of tax dollars for corporate welfare.  Their members have sent more than 8,000 emails opposing corporate welfare for professional sports teams.

“It’s a real shame that our Senators have allowed their priorities to become so far removed from those of the average Floridian,” said AFP-FL State Director Slade O’Brien. “Florida leads the country in foreclosures, teachers have been laid off and schools closed, and our unemployment has remained higher than the national average until this month. This is the first year since 2008 that our projected revenues have not been billions less than the year prior, requiring significant cuts. It is beyond me why our elected officials think it is appropriate to use tax dollars to renovate stadiums rather than funding other important programs.”

Supporters of these proposals claim that these handouts provide great economic benefit.  But the facts just don’t support this claim.  Independent economic analyses have shown that a majority of funding is born by the taxpayers and that these subsidies provide little to no economic benefit.

Mr. O’Brien continued, “Despite overwhelming evidence that subsidies for professional sports teams provide very little if any economic benefit, the Senate continues to support increasing the amount of tax dollars teams receive.  This is money taxpayers expect to be used for education, healthcare for the needy and infrastructure, not corporate welfare for the billionaire owners of sports teams.”

Read AFP-FL’s letter of opposition for SB 922 here.

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