After extended negotiations, the Rays and the state reached an understanding over roughly $850,000 of that amount, which a state audit concluded was the amount of sales tax the team had underpaid between 2006 and 2009. That left about half a million dollars still in dispute.
The closed-door approach came to an end this month when the Rays filed a lawsuit against the state, contesting two areas where state auditors claim the team owes back taxes.
The team argues it shouldn’t have to pay taxes on meals that Tropicana Field concessionaire Centerplate serves in luxury suites.
Rays officials also say the team shouldn’t have to pay taxes on the portion of ticket sale proceeds it gives to the city of St. Petersburg.
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