Earlier this month, lawmakers introduced two 30-year tax extensions in Charlotte to help fund stadium renovations or build a new stadium for the Carolina Panthers.
Lawmakers added the new tax extension language to an existing bill that’s original intent was to create a Charlotte FC special license plate. The taxes would be extended for 30 years longer than originally stated.
Rep. John Bradford, R-Mecklenburg, is the primary sponsor of House Bill 408 (H.B. 408). Four other Mecklenburg representatives have signed onto the H.B. 408: Reps. Becky Carney, Mary Belk, Terry Brown, and Carolyn Logan.
Additionally, Rep. Jason Saine, R-Lincoln, a powerful Republican lawmaker who serves as the senior chair of the House Appropriations Committee, is also backing the effort.
Both taxes are related to tourism in Charlotte, and lawmakers are proposing extending the taxes through 2060. Here’s an explanation of the two taxes:
- 1% Tax on Prepared Food and Beverages: The proposed tax extension is primarily paid by county residents and applies to prepared food and beverages purchased within the city. It currently funds the Charlotte Convention Center and was set to expire in 2031 or when the building’s debt payment was complete. H.B. 408 seeks to prolong the tax until 2060, providing long-term funding for major renovations to or total reconstruction of Bank of America Stadium at the request of the Carolina Panthers owner.
- 2% Tax on Hotel and Motel Rooms: The proposed extension is a tax on hotel and motel room rentals in Charlotte. The tax currently pays off the debt service for the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The extension aims to prolong this tax until 2060, allowing the tax dollars to be freed up for other purposes. The specific spending plans are unclear currently.
Some have expressed concern about the lack of public discussion regarding the proposed tax extensions. The hospitality industry is leading the effort to extend these taxes, according to a statement from Jason Schneider, a spokesperson for the city of Charlotte.
The following analysis of H.B. 408 is from the N.C. General Assembly’s non-partisan central staff attorneys:
H.B. 408 awaits its fate in the House Rules Committee. If the Rules Committee approves the bill, it will head to the House floor for a vote and, if approved, would then head to the Senate for consideration.