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Tax rebate for Orange Bowl passes in House
Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Lawmakers have so far said no to helping the Marlins with a new stadium, but the state House came to the aid of the Orange Bowl on Thursday.

A bill (HB 163) to rebate the sales tax on tickets and concessions sold at the landmark Miami stadium, home of the University of Miami football team, passed the House 81-30. It would still need approval from the Senate.

The estimated $200,000 to $300,000 that wouldn't be paid to the state in taxes would go to the city of Miami to make improvements to the stadium.

The measure, sponsored by Rep. Manny Prieguez, R-Miami, calls for a plan similar to the what the Florida Marlins baseball team has been seeking to build a new downtown ballpark.

That idea so far hasn't passed and the Legislature is scheduled to end Friday.

Prieguez, who opposes the Marlins rebate, said there were major differences. The amount of money is the biggest. The Marlins' tax rebate would be for about $122 million over 40 years.

Prieguez also argued that the Marlins plan would only help one team, while an Orange Bowl rebate would help Miami draw other events to what he called the "grand dame" of the city.

Opponents said it was a tax break that couldn't be afforded.

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