May 29, 2012
Today the Charlotte City Council is expected to hear the latest proposal for a city subsidy for a proposed new uptown stadium for the Charlotte Knights.
Already, the team’s request to the city has been reduced to an $8.5 million investment from $11 million earlier this spring. Mecklenburg County committed an 8-acre property purchased with taxpayer money for $24 million, plus the promise of $8 million in grants for sidewalks and street upgrades near the stadium site.
That subsidy would come from $6 million in hotel/motel tax revenue, paid over 20 years, and a $2.5 million rebate on most of the city property taxes the team is expected to pay over the next two decades.
But some council members have balked over the property tax rebate, including Mayor Pro Tem Patrick Cannon. Mayor Anthony Foxx has said he’s ambivalent about helping the team.
Sources close to the talks say Foxx and others prefer to reduce or eliminate the property tax from the ballpark plan. Charlotte Center City Partners, the most ardent stadium proponent, could be asked to fill the void, though such a contribution would require the approval of its board.
All of this must be resolved by June 11, the date for the council vote. Mecklenburg County signed a revamped lease with the Knights last year requiring the team to complete its financing by June 30.
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