Dear Mr. Ross,
You have financed a special election on May 14 for Miami- Dade to raise taxes to renovate the Miami Dolphins stadium. This tax will raise 289 million dollars that will go directly to your privately owned business of the Miami Dolphins. I realize that you already spent over 4 million dollars to cover the costs of this election, but as a Dolfan I urge you to stop this act of greed that will in essence rob from the city I call home.
Miami has always been intertwined with its football team, the Dolphins. In the seventies and eighties it was the only game in town. This was a team and organization you could be proud of. There was a commitment to winning and figures like Don Shula, Dan Marino, and Jason Taylor became pillars of our city.
All that good will is tarnished if you accept tax money to increase the value of your business. Your PR department has spun this funding as not coming from Miami-Dade residents as the election will be deciding whether to increase the hotel tax rate. There is some truth to that, but there are only so many taxes our government can collect. Despite Miami’s reputation as one of glitz and glamour, we are not a rich city. 27 percent of our population lives under the poverty level. Every dollar that goes toward the stadium you privately own is one less dollar that goes to our underfunded schools, one less dollar toward repairing our corroded sewage treatment plants, one less dollar that can go toward public transportation (even maybe building a metrorail stop to your stadium).
I ask you to take a page from the original Miami Dolphins owner, Joe Robbie. When he was no longer happy with the Orange Bowl serving as the playing field for the Miami Dolphins, Mr. Robbie used his own money and that of private investors to fund the stadium you hope to have the city renovate for you. This investment paid off handsomely as Robbie’s heirs were able to sell the team for a handsome profit.
I have been one of your harsher critics during your tenure as the Miami Dolphins owner. On my website http://www.knockshardmiami.com I have portrayed you as a buffoon, one obsessed with celebrity and out of his league when it comes to owning a football team. These are forgivable sins. What I can not forgive is you taking money from my city. Thus if you take a penny from the city of Miami I will no longer be able to root for the football team you own. Sundays will be a lot less fun, but it will be obvious that whatever the aqua and orange uniforms might say, the team playing will not be the Miami Dolphins, but the Stephen Ross Dolphins.