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Stadium News

The state senate doesn't want to play ball when it comes to a tax break for a stadium for the Marlins.

The Senate president brushed off speculation Tuesday that property tax relief might be part of deals involving the annual state budget, an expansion of gambling or a new stadium for the Florida Marlins baseball team in Miami.

Sen. Ken Pruitt, R-Port St. Lucie, said his chamber would not trade lowering property taxes for anything else, even as negotiations with the House remained suspended with only three days left in the regular 2007 legislative session.

"Everything is a stand-alone issue - everything," Pruitt said. "Tax reform stands on its own. There's nothing coupled with it at all."

To even make it worse, the governor doesn't like the idea of coupling any proposal of taxes and gambling together.

"There are not many things I dislike as much as gambling, but there is one and that's taxes," Crist said. But he added, "I really don't see the two together."

So basically what is happening is that the Florida state government is on the phone to Portland and asking them to take one of their MLB franchises off their hands.

Of course, other things could happen.  MLB could close the funding gap, but that doesn't seem likely.  Or the Marlins, the city of Miami and the county could up their ante but I wouldn't count on that.

With the end of legislative session being 3 days away, and with the senate's leaders vehemently opposing a tax break to the Marlins, it is probably toast.

It takes time to build a stadium and time is something the Marlins are running out of.