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« Is Grillo The Heir Apparent To Sergio (In Club Throwing)? | Main | Tiger's Agent Challenges Report Saying His Client Is "Unlikely" To Play Masters »

"Why do Florida House Republicans keep driving money into the World Golf Hall of Fame?"

That's the question Jeremy Wallace asks for the Tampa Bay Times when looking into Florida House efforts to root out corporate welfare.

He writes:

Tucked on page 65 of a 187-page bill is a clause that continues to award $2 million in annual tax credits to the World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine for the next six years. Even in their analysis to members, House Republicans called the museum the single worst bet the state is making with tax credits.

Wallace calls the WGHOF a "curious outlier" even though the bill's author is Rep. Paul Renner, whose district includes the museum.

When asked why the tax credit was left alone, Renner replied: "I don't know."

In a subsequent interview with the Times/Herald, Renner said the House did not want to disrupt existing deals with museums.

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Reader Comments (33)

03.18.2017 | Unregistered CommenterDon
Old home bound senior citizens don't need food and the endowment for the arts doesn't need support but this "museum" is exempt? Really?
03.18.2017 | Unregistered CommenterPitbull
It is a museum and tourist attraction, and if they have made a commitment for a certain number of years, they should honor it. The state thinks that these sort of deals pay for themselves by virtue of visitors and economic activity - in this case I have no idea if it is a good bet or not. But if they do withdraw the credit, it should apply to all museums and attractions, not just ones that focus on politically unacceptable behavior like golf.
03.18.2017 | Unregistered CommenterBrianS
The surrounding shops, including a huge golf shop, are mostly all closed. Caddyshack restaurant, just across the water from the WGHOF is still open but seems to be just a matter of time. This didn't work, for whatever reason.
03.18.2017 | Unregistered CommenterCJK
If you're really interested in finding out what's behind this tax credit, go to the website and fill in the appropriate information. You'll find the major contributors to specific candidates whether at the state or federal level. Often they are under the guise of a euphemistic sounding foundation. Check it out; it's often coming from organizations dealing in "dark money".
03.18.2017 | Unregistered Commenterberserkeley
My wife and I visited the HOF during Thanksgiving weekend. There was maybe a handful of other visitors. Nice exhibition about Bob Hope. The rest of the HOF was okay, certainly no comparison to Cooperstown. Across the "pond" the shops were vacant. We had an incredibly disappointing lunch at the Caddyshack restaurant. All in all, if you have a couple of hours to kill, check it out, but its not a destination event.
03.18.2017 | Unregistered CommenterHBL
Maybe those commercials done by undocumented worker, Gary Player, did not sit well with all those XRW golfers, not willing to shed a penny of their paper wealth. I guess if WGHOF would LEASE them a ticket, they could afford it, since that is how all their cars are (not) paid for, and that house payment can't be late- oh well the kids would rather go bowling or to a gameroom anyway, and that matter of a foreigner making commercials- they just don't know.. Who is this ''Gary Player'' anyway? ''Player''-- that sure sounds like an alias....

sarcastically yours,

03.18.2017 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
? Does it predominantly benefit older white males. Answer: Yes. Ok then, tax exemption it is.
03.18.2017 | Unregistered CommenterEdward Brumby
Stop the whining. The place doesn't make a dime and the "tax credit" is worthless. The state isn't writing a check, just declining to collect on something that would never generate taxable income anyway.
03.18.2017 | Unregistered CommenterC. Crist

Logic and facts don't matter to those that think everyone else's money belongs to them


lets add up how much white makes pay in taxes versus any other group. Better yet, let's compare that to every other group combined
03.18.2017 | Unregistered CommenterGolfin' Dolphin
Car Salesman: Where is Mr. Griswold's Sports Wagon?
Davenport: I don't know sir.
03.19.2017 | Unregistered CommenterJoe Bausch
Hey Geoff, why not stick to golf? You're preaching the old narrative full of lib overreach and hatred of the moneyed class.
03.19.2017 | Unregistered CommenterCaperman
I actually read this as Geoff presenting a point from the conservative viewpoint.
"Why is the government picking and choosing winners and losers, rather allowing the fremarket being allowed to work?"
"Why have some entranced legislatures continued the old insider ways,; rather than waking, up getting rid of items from the budget that are against the true principals of those who voted in the Republican legislatures?"

Now who may see some ulterior joy coming to Geoff in the irony of this matter. But the end questions of do these tax breaks present a government action against the principals of the majority party in the State of Florida, are still just as real.

Now I know we can all can find all sorts of irony on all sides of political parties. But this is a very good golf question.

With all of the TV revenues received by the PGA Tour, USGA, PGA, & R&A, and the other many endorsement and promotional dollars that flows through golf, is the WGOF a worthy and justified recipient of tax credits?

This end, ultimate question needs to be answered, no matter the political slant.
03.19.2017 | Unregistered CommenterBillS
I'll count this as corporate "welfare" when the other kind of welfare is changed from giving losers money to giving them tax credits instead.
03.19.2017 | Unregistered CommenterGolfin' Dolphin
A state rep slips a little sugar for his district into a 168 page bill? Shocker.

All politics is local.
So I was wondering, how much money does it cost to operate the World Golf Hall of Fame?

I am not sure we will ever know because it is run by the World Golf Foundation.

The story is misleading as it seems that the start of Florida is giving money to the World Golf Hall of Fame. Is it really?
03.19.2017 | Unregistered CommenterScott
I'd encourage anyone who's genuinely interested in the issue to read the FULL STORY, which can only be accessed by: 1) clicking on Geoff's link and 2) clicking on the FULL STORY link at the bottom of THAT article. In short, Florida House Republicans have cut back on a lot of tax credits, and in a published analysis they determined that the WGHOF was the least effective tax credit "subsidy" among a couple of dozen such credits, in terms of bringing income to the area. Somehow the WHGHOF is exempt from the culling, and no one is willing to say why they want to spare it. Even the district's representative, Renner (a Republican), opposed the tax credit two years ago.
03.19.2017 | Unregistered Commenter3foot1
10 years ago we went to St. Augustine. We planned to go to the Hall of Fame. A couple of locals told us that it was not worth the visit and we were better off playing golf, so that's what we did.
03.19.2017 | Unregistered CommenterKG
Sounds like the College Football Hall of Fame... going from Cincinnati to South Bend to now Atlanta... goes where the government officials will foot the bill on backs of local taxpayers.
03.19.2017 | Unregistered CommenterJohn C
In 2012 the World Golf Foundation reported the revenues of the Hall of Fame at $750,000. Not very good. You can find this info on a form 990 site. Not an accountant but it appears the WGF had a net gain of $38MM that year. Perhaps anyone on this thread who may have an accounting background can confirm.
03.19.2017 | Unregistered CommenterReaper
It bills itself as a museum and tourist attraction, and if they did not make a commitment for a certain number of years, and the WGHOF is not a success then they should drop the tax credit. The state hands out these sorts of deals on the premise that they pay for themselves by virtue of visitors and economic activity and employment - in this case it appears that the WGHOF is a near bust on all counts. But if they do withdraw the credit, it should apply to all museums and attractions based on a case-by-case analysis, if success and revenues is the premise for handing out the tax credit in the first place.
03.19.2017 | Unregistered CommenterGutta Percha
Golfin Dolphin, are you one of those republicans who despise every social program, regardless of how good it is, until you or your family actually needs it? A common hypocrite in other words.
03.19.2017 | Unregistered CommenterBarney Panofsky
I'm not a republican, and no I don't do any of the things you just stated.

So to recap, I'm not a hypocrite, but you are a moron.

Try harder next time, cuck!
03.19.2017 | Unregistered CommenterGolfin' Dolphin
Why do the HOF voters keep driving in B level resumes into the HOF?
03.19.2017 | Unregistered CommenterKeith - NYC
I looked at the one 990 I could find online (2012). This entity seems to include much more than The World Golf Hall of Fame. It seems to include The First Tee as well. It is highly profitable but it is a 501(3)c, There was a $2,000,000 line item on page 9 which is in the form of a government grant not a tax credit.

Also Revenue including contributions/fundraising were quite large.

$41 million 2011
$72 million 2012

(2012 looks like an outlier year based on other long term historical info on the return)

Payroll was $8.8 million and very lopsided to,officers and highly compensated.

Looking at this I wonder how much of a donation to The First Tee is paying to keep the WGHofF operating.
03.19.2017 | Unregistered CommenterPABoy
Nice to stop for an afternoon, but certainly no Cooperstown.
03.20.2017 | Unregistered CommenterMiddle West Pro
It's a fine museum. But it's surrounded by empty commercial space, rarely-occupied timeshares and land that was envisioned for houses but now sits empty. Slammer and Squire is an OK golf course but not worthy of $139 rounds in-season.

Yes, it's an OK afternoon visit but if I had three days for a golf-centric Florida vacation, I could think of 25 other places I'd go to first. Including Sawgrass, which inadvertently probably hurts them more than helps, with the exception of PLAYERS and induction weeks.
03.20.2017 | Unregistered CommenterJohn
Golfin Dolphin,

Nobody (and really, I mean nobody in the universe) cares if you are a republican or a democrat or a ring-tailed lemur who wants to bring back the Free Soil Party. But you do like to call people around here "cucks", which has the consequence of painting you as an inelqouent asshole. Take a second to realize that you spent some of your time today using an assumed moniker to call people you don't know silly, uncreative names on an Internet forum about golf.
03.20.2017 | Unregistered CommenterTremendous Slouch
-commentor (using assumed moniker) asked if I was a republican and called me a "silly, uncreative" name (hypocrite)

-I answered the question

-you obviously care enough about all of it to post your long-winded answer. Funny how you know so much about my commenting habits yet I've never recognized your name. Do you have a crush on me?

-other than getting it completely wrong, your comment is spot on

03.20.2017 | Unregistered CommenterGolfin' Dolphin

I've replied to you several times over the last year, and post here somewhat regularly (and have under several names since 2007). Not recognizing my name says more about you, I would offer.

And my reply this time was simply that I think you do yourself a disservice by using the word "cuck". It exposes you.

Consider it a pro tip. Also, sorry that my previous post was so long-winded. Three sentences is a lot of reading, I know.

Carry on.
03.21.2017 | Unregistered CommenterTremendous Slouch
Pro-tip: no one uses the phrase "pro-tip" anymore, old man

I'm more interested in exposing you as a bitter, anger-filled cuck

What not recognizing your name says about me, is that I never noticed the unimportant, irrelevant comments coming from a basic boring cuck
03.22.2017 | Unregistered CommenterGolfin' Dolphin
no dog in this fight but I found it personally hilarious that in this USAToday article they give a "Pro Tip"
03.22.2017 | Unregistered CommenterMattS
"Pro-tip" is still said after all this time by the same people that said something was "the bomb" years after normal people stopped using it.
03.22.2017 | Unregistered CommenterGolfin' Dolphin

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