Show me the money: A quartet of sports franchises applies for $7 million in incentives

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The Miami Dolphins, Orlando City MLS, Daytona International Speedway, and the Jacksonville Jaguars have submitted a combined $9 million in requests for tax incentives, more than what the state has to spend.

South Florida lobbyist Ron Book said the Dolphins application was deemed complete on Friday and that the team is seeking $3 million in the current fiscal year.

Gray Robinson shareholder Chris Carmody called the City of Orlando’s response to the application “voluminous.” It is seeking $2 million for the next 30 years or a $60 million incentive. The Orlando City Soccer club begins playing in 2015.

Daytona International Speedway applied for $3 million and the Jacksonville Jaguars had applied for $1 million.

Applications were due to the Department of Economic Opportunity on November 1, a Saturday. The department has 60 days to review the applications and must, by February 1, give a list to the Legislature identifying which projects deserve the funding and in what order. There is no requirement for the Legislature to abide by the department’s recommendations. The law provides $13 million annually for incentives except for the first year which is limited to $7 million.

The first round of incentives do not require prior legislative approval. Indeed, both Book and Carmody expect the Legislative Budget Commission to consider the incentives before the start of the next session.

Book maintains that the Jacksonville Jaguars should not qualify for the first round of incentives because it already receives $2 million from the state and the Dolphins do not. He said the Jaguars application should be considered in the second round of incentives in 2015-16.