The Miami Dolphins did not get the tax subsidies they want. Team officials, in response, are hurling every last toy out of their lavish baby carriages, including the vague relocation threat. Dolphins CEO Mike Dee says the team has “no intention of investing more” to stay in Miami and described the future as “clearly bleak.” He would not rule out a move to Los Angeles or another market.
What did the Dolphins want? A mere $379 million over 30 years. The team requested $289 million from an increased hotel tax and $90 million in further subsidies from state sales tax. The Dolphins were also a proponent of a proposal (died in Florida’s house) to provide $13 million per year in state funding to Florida’s professional sports teams.
Perhaps Florida legislators have realized there is almost zero chance an NFL franchise outside California is moving to Los Angeles. Especially not the Dolphins. The NFL TV revenue mitigates any need for a franchise to move. Moving to California exposes an NFL franchise to far greater workers compensation liability. For the Dolphins, any gains would be countered by the massive state income tax increase. Florida has no state income tax. Tax in California for top earners just rose to 13.3 percent. Relocation would be what the kids are calling an “empty threat.”
Rest assured. This was about jobs and not massively increasing the value of the franchise on the public dime.