Miami-Dade County Commissioners approved a resolution last week supporting a plan for the public to pay half the cost of upgrading the stadium where the National Football League's Miami Dolphins play.

Commissioners voted to urge the Legislature to pass bills authorizing various taxes to support the stadium renovations, which are estimated at around $400 million.

The legislation would seek a $3 million-a-year state sales tax rebate for 30 years, and authorize the Miami-Dade Commission to raise convention and tourist development taxes. The taxes can be used to pay debt service on bonds issued to finance the improvements.

The Florida Legislature's regular session begins March 5. Several bills have already been filed to support the stadium financing plan.

The resolution approved by the County Commission notes that upgrading the stadium would create approximately 3,700 construction jobs, 1,100 permanent jobs, and an $2 billion economic benefit to Miami-Dade County.

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said he and private investors will pay a majority of the cost of the project, which has been described as amounting to "at least 50-plus-1%."

The stadium opened in 1987, and was constructed entirely with private funds. While the facility is privately owned, the Dolphins lease the land for $1 a year from Miami-Dade County, which gave the team a 99-year lease in 1984.

Over the years, some public funds have gone toward improvements, including a 30-year state sales tax rebate authorized by the Legislature to renovate the football stadium so that the National Baseball League's Marlins could play there as well.

A state official told The Bond Buyer recently that the rebate for baseball renovations, which still go to the football stadium, would be investigated since the Miami Marlins have moved to a largely publicly financed stadium near downtown Miami

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