Marlins Tried to Stiff Tax Payers With an $11,000 Wine Bill

Miami-Dade County already coughed up $376 million to help build the new Marlins Park, but now the County government and Marlins brass are in a fight over about $1.7 million in non-construction costs related to the project. The Marlins actually tried to charge the county for a nearly $11,000 bill for wine bought for a party so owner Jeffrey Loria and friends could celebrate the completion of construction.

According to the Miami Herald, county administrator Jose Galan combed through the Marlins bill and uncovered about $1.7 million in non-construction costs. Most of those charges were related to a small temporary sales office located on 7th Street. The County doesn't want to reimburse the team because they say those charges had nothing to do with construction.

ncluded in the charges the County is disputing:

  • $110,545 in rent
  • $259,057 paid to the firm that designed the sales center
  • "Thousands" in FPL and Comcast bills
  • $14,031 for advertising banners
  • $33,226 in office furniture 
  • $9,823 for drapes
  • $299.72 for fabric to cover just three pillows (must have been some fancy pillows)
  • Over $10,000 for wooden carts
  • $1,106 in carpeting
  • $101.63 for a consultant's meal
  • $162 for another consultant's hotel bill
  • $5,568 in attorney bills related to the fight against Norman Braman

The team also tried to stiff the county with the $10,980 wine bill. Though, the team has already decided to give in and just pay up the cost for Loria's fancy wines themselves.

All in all, the team spent $38.5 million in public money on approved soft-costs, including hefty bills to attorneys and consultants, but the county has apparently decided to draw the line on paying for fancy pillow coverings for a sales office. An arbiter will ultimately decided who will pay up.

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