Tampa Yankees Representatives Make Offer
MARION COUNTY- Half of the cost of a special election in Marion County may be paid for by the Tampa Yankees because the Yankees want to bring a minor league baseball team to Ocala.
The Tampa Yankees hope Wednesday’s announcement may persuade Marion county commissioners to hold a special election in March.
"I think that an new sporting venue would be a great way to bring people to the area," said Diana Scroggie.
Marion County resident Scroggie said she and her kids would love to see the Tampa Yankees minor league baseball team play ball in their hometown of Ocala. "Project Home Run" would cost $53 million and would be paid for by a half cent sales tax. A sales tax some residents might support.
"I am definitely willing to consider the half cent sales tax in an effort to better our community," said Scroggie.
Other residents said they’ll vote no for the sales tax.
“I just feel we shouldn't have to pay another half-cent sales tax when a large conglomerate like the New York Yankees can pay for this," said Christopher Roberson who is a resident.
The proposal would go on a ballot in March during a special election that would cost $350,000. City leaders agreed on funding half of the special election cost, but the county is responsible for the other half. Last week commissioners expressed concern about spending $175,000. Now a week later Tampa Yankees representatives are stepping up.
"We are pleased to announce that we have partnered up with the city to pay for half of the referendum," said Tony Bruno who is the President of Yankee Global Enterprises.
"I think it shows their commitment to our community and that they are committed to bringing this project to Ocala. Marion County," said Scroggie.
"I think it would've been a hardship for us if we would've had to pay for the special election because they are not cheap," said David Glorius who is a resident.
"If it doesn't cost us any money to have the election, then I don't have a problem with it," said Greg Godin who is a resident.
County Chair Carl Zalak said this announcement goes a long way to getting the commissioners comfortable with a March ballot.
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