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Panthers Stadium Funding Measure Clears State House

A funding plan for Bank of America Stadium renovations has cleared the state House. On Wednesday afternoon, Representative Ruth Samuelson's measure passed with little debate.

"There are no new taxes; there is no new revenues – state or local," said Samuelson, introducing her bill for debate on the House floor. "There are just two new options for the Charlotte City Council – which has joined us here today – to consider."

If the measure clears the state Senate, Charlotte will have the option of diverting some of its existing restaurant tax revenues to build amateur sports facilities and help the Panthers spruce up their stadium.  That tax revenue is currently earmarked only for Charlotte Convention Center debt and improvements. 

The mayor and city council hoped for permission to increase the restaurant tax rather than have to choose between projects, but state lawmakers rejected that request.  The Panthers have asked Charlotte to foot nearly half of the $300 million tab to add escalators and other improvements at the team's 17-year old stadium.