Stadium News - Sort of

The Miami Herald ran some data and came up with the following.

Hotel taxes -- also known as ''bed taxes'' -- would fund nearly half of the construction tab for the new $609 million home for the Florida Marlins. As administrators finish their financing plan for the stadium, they are grappling with a complicated question made more complex by the current tourism slide: How much more debt can hotel taxes sustain?

To answer that question, The Miami Herald mapped future debt payment scenarios on the proposed stadium and parking garage.

The analysis combined county budget figures and annual borrowing costs of about $20 million for a generic $297 million bond. It found that without a quick turnaround in tourism, it would be 2017 before Miami-Dade's hotel taxes could sustain the stadium's debt.

Jennifer Glazer-Moon, director of the county's Strategic Business Management office, confirmed that initially, there probably would not be enough bed taxes to cover debt on the 37,000-seat stadium.

As in the past, Miami-Dade would structure the bonds to allow smaller payments upfront and then larger payouts in future years when hotel taxes are likely to be higher.

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Should hotel taxes stay flat through 2010, Miami-Dade would need an extra $38 million to cover bond payments by the end of 2016, the analysis shows. Under the county's more bullish budget forecasts, the cumulative deficit would be only $6 million.

The day before the study was announced, Carlos Alvarez wrote this:

We've got the money, thanks to the 12 million tourists who visit us every year. Let's not shove it under a mattress. Those dollars can't be used for affordable housing, education or other government services. Let's make another investment in our community, put people to work right now and emerge from this economic downturn better and stronger.

CARLOS ALVAREZ, mayor, Miami-Dade County, Miami

 

Mr. Alvarez is completely right about the money can only be used for specific projects.  The Miami Herald study may give the fence sitters a reason to vote no.  Hopefully not.

It should be interesting come Friday the 13th.

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