Chutzpa Award: Marlins Owner Jeffrey Loria
SDM couldn’t let this cloudy Monday pass without handing out a Chutzpa Award to Miami Marlins Owner Jeffery Loria. To get a feel for just how out-of-touch with the rest of us this megalomaniac is, SDM recommends the very thorough Miami Herald article Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria says tourists — not taxpayers — paid most of public cost for stadium.
Here are the offending words in their wretched – and retch inducing – glory:
Those who have attacked us are entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts. The majority of public funding came from hotel taxes, the burden of which is incurred by tourists who are visiting our city, NOT the resident taxpayers…..
If SDM wasn’t completely sure of Loria’s unmatched expertise at pulling the wool over the eyes of local governments, we might be tempted to think the man doesn’t know what the hell he is talking about.
The tourist taxes that were wasted onthe Marlins’ stadium are directed toward such monstrosities because the state legislature limited the use of those taxes to pay for sports facilities, among other things. Got that? Repeat: the reason hotel taxes and other taxes were spent to prop up a failing millionaire’s private business was because our legislators explicitly permit the practice.
Of course, Loria also knows that anything our legislators give they can also take away. So, if there were any real outrage at multi-million dollar giveaways to multi-millionaires, our legislators could quickly rewrite the law and redirect the money to other worthy purposes. But they won’t, because Loria and his minions make sure to shower legislators and other politicos with money and freebies. (Don’t look for this issue in the Village of Palmetto Bay’s legislative agenda, either. Our fearless leaders are plenty busy kissing the county schools superintendent’s backside.)
What makes Loria’s statement so worthy of a Chutzpa Award – followed by the Biggest Putz of the Year Award – is that the question of who pays these taxes is an intentional distraction from the real question all taxpayers should be asking: for which purposes should these taxes be spent?
You see, communities like ours do not have an infinite number of revenue sources – and certainly not an infinite number of sources as spectacularly efficient as hotel taxes. Sure, it makes sense to tie the taxes to their sources of revenue, but doing so is not constitutionally required. Legislative choice – informed by local preference – causes these taxes to flow into Mr. Loria’s engorged wallet.
SDM Wonders: Will legislators ever demand that the proceeds of these taxes be used to address important local problems or will they content themselves to line the pockets of fat cats?
To Loria, SDM Says: There is an old saying that goes, you can’t un-ring a bell. No matter how many obnoxious letters you purchase in the local fish wrapper, you’re nothing but a leech on a what is – at its core – a terribly poor community. Porqué no te calles, ya?