Negotiations for $29 million for Bucs should leave taxpayers crying “foul”

TALLAHASSEE – Americans for Prosperity-Florida (AFP-FL), the leading grassroots advocate against wasteful spending, is educating Hillsborough residents of a vote their county commission plans to take on Wednesday, December 16th to inappropriately give away $29 million to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

“Floridians have enjoyed a rich sports history, but the massive cost to taxpayers is simply out of bounds,” said state director, Chris Hudson. “It makes no sense that Hillsborough commissioners are talking about increasing taxes on their residents, but somehow have enough money in the taxpayer coffers to throw an errant pass to the Bucs by way of $29 million for video monitors and luxury box renovations.”

The Florida Office of Economic and Demographic Research (EDR) found that the Professional Sports Franchise Incentive, which distributes state tax dollars to help pay for stadium construction and renovation, only returned 30 cents for every dollar the state spent on the program. In fiscal year 2012/2013 EDR found that the Professional Sports Franchise Inventive program actually lost Florida jobs because of the usually seasonal, and often part-time nature of these positions.

Hudson continued, “I’m a huge Bucs fan, but this franchise should be ashamed of themselves for asking taxpayers and fans to pay to enjoy these games twice – once at the box office and again at the tax office. Hillsborough County commissioners should not give in to these demands!”

AFP-FL and its activists are going door-to-door and making phone calls into Hillsborough County to educate citizens about the pending vote and the poor return on investment from these wasteful spending practices. AFP-FL will also launch direct mail into Hillsborough County to hold the elected officials who support these wasteful spending practices accountable to their constituents.

For further information or an interview, please contact Andres Malave at AMalave@afphq.org or 407-388-8060.

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is a nationwide organization of citizen-leaders committed to advancing every individual’s right to economic freedom and opportunity. AFP believes reducing the size and intrusiveness of government is the best way to promote individual productivity and prosperity for all Americans. For more information, visit www.americansforprosperity.org

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