N.C. House Introduces Plan For Existing Taxes To Fund BofA Stadium Upgrades
North Carolina lawmakers "introduced a bill Thursday that would allow the city of Charlotte to use existing taxes -- but no new ones -- to upgrade Bank of America Stadium," according to Jim Morrill of the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER. The plan apparently would leave the city more than $30M "short of what it hoped to give" the NFL Panthers. At least one City Council member said that the city "might counter by offering a smaller tax increase than originally proposed." State Sen. Ruth Samuelson, the bill's lead sponsor, said, “The bottom line is there’s no stomach here for a tax increase. Our hands are tied.” Morrill notes the House bill "does not address the team’s request" for $62.5M in state money. The measure would "allow the city to use existing occupancy and prepared food taxes -- now earmarked for tourism and the Charlotte Convention Center -- to pay for stadium renovations and amateur sports." Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx "could not be reached." City Council member Michael Barnes said that the city "could make a counterproposal." He added that instead of a 1% increase in the food tax that would sunset in 30 years, the city "could offer a half-percent increase that would end in 15 years." Samuelson acknowledged that "with less money, the city would have to make choices" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 3/1).