Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pinellas to require new Rays to be in county if tourism taxes provide funding

CLEARWATER — The Pinellas County Commission will require that a new baseball stadium for the Rays be built in the county if tourism tax money is set aside to fund it.

Previously, a proposed extension of part of the tax, which is applied to hotel and motel stays, would not have required that the ballpark site be in Pinellas.

While no one has agreed to build a stadium, the Tampa Bay Rays seek one, and they're interested in looking in Hillsborough County. After the St. Petersburg Times story Tuesday pointed out the quirk, county attorneys drafted a revised ordinance requiring that the money stay in Pinellas.

"I think that ought to be there," said Commissioner Calvin Harris, who supports the extension. "That would eliminate a lot of the concern."

Chief Assistant County Attorney Dennis Long and commission Chairwoman Karen Seel, who leads the Tourist Development Council, said the first measure merely mirrored state law.

But a public hearing and final vote on extending the tax will be delayed two weeks to Nov. 30, and commissioners agreed Tuesday to have a workshop to discuss concerns by Nov. 16.

"I'm not comfortable, and I need to get there," said Commissioner Susan Latvala, who questioned whether money for tourism would be unfairly drained. "Doesn't mean I won't."

The county's tax of 5 cents per dollar spent on hotel stays pays for tourism marketing, beach renourishment and sports facilities — providing about $25 million a year. The "fourth cent" is paying part of the debt on Tropicana Field and expires in 2015.

With the Salvador Dali Museum this year seeking $2.5 million for a construction shortfall, the county's Tourist Development Council agreed to a proposal extending the fourth cent for stadium construction. It also agreed to allow tourist tax money to go to building projects at private museums and other sites, such as youth sports fields.

David DeCamp can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8779.

Pinellas to require new Rays to be in county if tourism taxes provide funding 10/26/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 26, 2010 10:51pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Astros rout Yankees to force Game 7 of AL Championship Series

    Ml

    HOUSTON — Justin Verlander pitched seven shutout innings to outduel Luis Severino for the second time, and the Astros bats came alive in their return home as Houston routed the Yankees 7-1 Friday night and forced a decisive Game 7 in the American League Championship Series.

    The Astros’ Brian McCann, who has struggled during the ALCS, breaks a scoreless tie with an RBI double during the fifth inning off Yankees starter Luis Severino.
  2. Review: Faith Hill and Tim McGraw shower love, star power on Tampa's Amalie Arena

    Blogs

    Near the end of their potent new duet Break First, Tim McGraw stopped singing, and let Faith Hill's powerhouse voice take over.

    Faith Hill and Tim McGraw performed at Amalie Arena in Tampa on Oct. 20, 2017.
  3. Senate to take up AUMF debate as Trump defends reaction to Niger attack

    World

    WASHINGTON — The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is taking up a long-awaited debate about authorizing military force against the Islamic State as President Trump comes under unprecedented public scrutiny for his treatment of dead soldiers' families, following an ambush on troops helping to fight Islamic …

  4. In fear and vigilance, a Tampa neighborhood holds its breath

    K12

    TAMPA — There was a time, not long ago, when Wayne Capaz would go for a stroll at night and Christina Rodriguez would shop whenever she wanted. Michael Fuller would go to his night job as a line cook, not too worried about his wife at home.

    More than 50 people gathered and walked in the Southeast Seminole Heights community Friday to pay respects to the victims of three shootings. The crowd took a moment of silence at the corner of 11th Street and East New Orleans where Monica Hoffa was found dead. [JONATHAN CAPRIEL  |  Times]
  5. Fennelly: What's not to like about Lightning's start?

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — No one is engraving the Stanley Cup. No one has begun stuffing the league MVP ballot box for Nikita Kucherov.

    The Lightning, with a win tonight, would match the best start in franchise history, 7-1-1 in the 2003-04 Cup season.