The chair of the Charlotte City Council’s economic development committee justsounded the two-minute warning on the local NFL stadium talks.
Democratic Councilman James Mitchell tells me recent setbacks in the state legislature to secure funding for stadium improvements could prove even costlier if no progress is made by the end of this month. The Carolina Panthers have quietly signaled a desire to have a sense of where the negotiations are headed by the end of this month, several politicians told theCharlotte Business Journal this week.
“If we don’t have anything in front of the Panthers (soon), they might look at other options,” Mitchell said. “It’s up to the elected officials to show appreciation for the Panthers.”
Mitchell said the notion of any type of tax increase, even if it affects just Charlotte, won’t work in Raleigh.
“I didn’t know the climate in the General Assembly,” he said this week when asked about the stall in the Panthers’ negotiations. “I was naive. I thought this was a no-brainer
All kinds of stumbles have followed since the city and team reached the outline of an agreement last month. The biggest: lack of support from the governor and N.C. lawmakers for any state money or approval for higher tourism taxes.
Then, too, the state and local restaurant lobbies criticized the suggested meals tax, though some local restaurant executives later signaled a willingness to go along. By then, state legislators from Mecklenburg County had lost their appetite, if one ever existed, for the tax hike
Saying no to a team “might not bite the politicians in the butt,” Ganis told me Friday. “But it will bite the taxpayers.”