Florida House Speaker sues Tampa over ‘illegal tax’

Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran is filing a lawsuit to stop what he calls an illegal tax being charged by the city of Tampa.

The Republican legislator announced the lawsuit on Thursday. The lawsuit is part of a series of moves Corcoran announced to go after local economic development and local tourism marketing agencies.

Tampa enacted what it calls a “tourism marketing assessment” earlier this year. Hotels in the Ybor City and downtown area add a $1.50 per night charge on each room.

Corcoran said local officials were “spitting in the face of the constitution” by enacting the fee without legislative authority.

The House lawsuit could complicate a proposal to build a new ballpark in Hillsborough County for the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays currently play in neighboring St. Petersburg.

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