Florida Senate Backs Daytona Speedway Money

By  //  April 3, 2014

Plan Would Funnel $2 million Annually for Upgrades at Daytona International Speedway.


TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — The Senate voted overwhelmingly Thursday to approve a plan (SB 208) that would funnel $2 million annually for 30 years to help pay for upgrades at Daytona International Speedway.

Dorothy Hukill

Bill sponsor Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange, said the speedway has broad benefits.

“They are an economic driver not only for my county but the surrounding counties and the entire state of Florida,” said Hukill, whose district includes a huge chunk of Volusia County.

But Sen. Anitere Flores, a Miami Republican who voted against the bill, questioned the benefits to residents in other parts of the state. The sales-tax money would go to International Speedway Corp., which is in the midst of a major renovation project at the track.

But while the Senate approved the bill in a 32-5 vote, the proposal appears in danger of dying in the House.

Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, has indicated he does not want to set aside money this year for sports-stadium projects. The House version of the bill (HB 127) has not been approved by any committees.

Along with Flores, the other Senate opponents were Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto, R-Fort Myers; Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, R-Miami; Sen. Rene Garcia, R-Hialeah; and Sen. Tom Lee, R-Brandon.