Is Dolphins stadium ad misleading?

Full page ad in Miami Herald totes hotel support of tax hike

MIAMI - A full page ad in the Miami Herald touting the support by some major area hotels for Sun Life Stadium improvements -- using bed tax dollars -- appears to be misleading.

The ad quotes executives from the InterContinental in downtown Miami and the JW Marriott Marquis, who say they support the stadium improvements even if it means adding one percent to guests' bills. The one percent tax increase, which would have to be approved by the Miami-Dade Commission once enabling legislation is passed by the Legislature, would come from hiking the Professional Sports Franchise tax. Currently, hotel guests in Miami-Dade pay a six percent bed tax.

What the Herald ad doesn't say is that hotels on Miami Beach already make guests pay seven percent. Hotels in Surfside and Bal Harbour have their own tax schedule.

Dolphins CEO Mike Dee spoke a county commission meeting Wednesday. He made a point of saying several hotels support the Sun Life improvements and the bed tax hike. Several hotel executives were in the audience, but didn't speak.

Norman Braman, who led the fight against the Marlins Stadium deal three years ago, is an outspoken opponent of using bed tax money to "modernize" Sun Life. When asked him about the Herald ad and support from hoteliers, Braman said: "This is just more of the same. They've rounded up the usual suspects. They all supported the Marlins Stadium deal."

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