TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – The state’s House Economic Affairs Committee has approved a bill which would expand and update admissions-tax exemptions for professional sports all-star games.
Rep. Jason Brodeur, the Sanford Republican behind the measure, said the changes are needed to meet the demands of professional leagues.
“The genesis of this is because the leagues have now said that in their (request for proposals) for all-star games that you must provide this sales-tax exemption on just the tickets, we’re not talking about hotels and restaurants … or you will not even be in consideration for it,” Brodeur said.
Brodeur wouldn’t say that lifting the tax helps draw people to Florida, but added that the events are economic drivers. He said Orange County experienced a $53 million direct impact to hotels and restaurants when the National Basketball Association all-star game was hosted in Orlando in 2012 and that the Major League Soccer all-star game last season in Kansas City created $15 million to $20 million in economic impact. T
The bill would add future MLS all-star games in Florida to the exemption and makes clear that the tax wouldn’t be imposed on events surrounding NBA all-star games.
The state already lifts the tax on admissions to all-star games hosted by Major League Baseball, the NBA, the National Hockey League, the National Football League’s championship games and the Pro Bowl, and any semifinal game or championship game of a national collegiate tournament.
The tax also isn’t currently imposed for baseball’s Home Run Derby, along with the NBA Rookie Challenge, Celebrity Game, 3-Point Shooting Contest and Slam Dunk Challenge. The measure gives a more “generic” designation to such events surrounding the NBA all-star game.
The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.