Comment and analysis on all things Charlotte

Open Letter to Meck GOP State Lawmakers

Hey guys, what’s up?

Something about a state budget hole or tax hikes, or something. That’s what I keep hearing, that the dirty bad Democrats want to raise our taxes and all that stands between them and the wallets of the citizenry are brave, brave Republicans. About that, the funny thing is that you just went along with a scheme that will suck revenue out of local General Funds statewide, likely resulting in tax hikes to make up the difference.

As Becki Gray details here, the latest bid to expand the range and scope of tax increment financing has brought us to the Wild West, TIF anything that moves status that backers of Amendment One swore up and down would never happen. And by Wild West, I mean Wild West — Texas once TIFed a sporting goods store, claimed it would be a bigger tourist attraction than the Alamo.

Speaking of lost causes, Uptown baseball. The interesting thing about this latest expansion of TIFable projects is that it includes, “Park and recreational facilities including stadiums, arenas, golf courses, swimming pools, wading pools or marinas.” As global warming will take a while to give us much call for a marina and Charlotte is already quite lousy with golf courses, guess which one of those caught my eye? That’s right, Don Quixote Beaver’s quest for $60m. baseball stadium Uptown.

Has anyone approached you about the possibility of TIFing a baseball stadium for the Charlotte Knights? Would you support or oppose such a project? You might say that is a local matter, but a letter to the Local Government Commission from state lawmakers would surely carry much weight when the commission sat down to approve actual TIF bonds.

Oh, well enough of this. I’m sure you have to get back to the fight, although what you are fighting for sort of escapes me at the moment.

Jeff A. Taylor
Charlotte, NC

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February 2016
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