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Senator Tom Lee, District 20 — Press Release


January 3, 2017

CONTACT: Sarah Schwirian, (813) 653-7061

Senator Tom Lee Pledges to Repeal Florida's Sports Development Program

Brandon, FL —

Senator Tom Lee (R-Thonotosassa) 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.

“The Sports Development Program was ill-conceived and based on the false premise that these capital improvements are a boon for economic development,” Senator Lee said. “Professional teams are vying for taxpayer funds to pay for largely superficial facility upgrades, many of which are already in progress or completed. History has shown that team owners will make these investments without hardworking families having to foot the bill.”

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.