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Federal taxpayers merry-go-round

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  • | 11:30 a.m. December 22, 2010
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Thanks to an 80-year-old federal law, the new Red Sox spring training stadium in Lee County will now cost another $2.7 million more than planned.

The Davis-Bacon Act requires federally funded public works projects to pay laborers and mechanics on the job prevailing wages, generally meaning higher rates around the Gulf Coast than otherwise might be the case. Those higher wage rates turned an already pricey $75 million ballpark into one now costing taxpayers $77.7 million.

What's making it a federal project is the county's decisions to use taxable Build America Bonds to finance part of the construction. Those bonds are subsidized by taxpayers up to 45% of the interest cost. Got that?

So, taxpayers subsidize borrowing so taxpayers can pay more to build a project requiring taxpayers to borrow more...


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