Policy Report

Raleigh Convention Center: Throwing good money after bad

posted on in City & County Government, Law & Regulation, Property Rights
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This report examines 52 contracts signed by the Raleigh Convention Center for the period of July–December 2011 and is a follow-up to the September 2008 John Locke Foundation report “The New Raleigh Convention Center: A taxpayer-funded money pit.”

Key Facts

  • Raleigh Convention Center (RCC) staff continues to provide favored organizations deep discounts for the use of meeting rooms and convention space.
  • For the period of July through December 2011, RCC staff awarded discounts to 40 of 52 organizations, discounts totaling almost $569,000 with the average being 54 percent off the list price of RCC rooms.
  • These discounts are similar to those given by RCC staff for the first ten months of operation (September 2008 to June 2009), which totaled $555,000 with the average being 58 percent discount off the list price.
  • During the last half of 2011, twelve unlucky organizations were not given discounts but paid the full list price.
  • Taxpayers need to be aware that RCC staff have broad discretionary power to award discounts, including granting free use of RCC space.
  • Organizations receiving deep discounts are not the only beneficiaries. The taxes that subsidize these discounts unfairly subsidize a very small group of downtown businesses and property owners.
  • In addition to the table contained in this report, the JLF created a searchable website that lists the contract and discount amounts for past RCC organizational users. Interested citizens can see for themselves the organizations that received discounts and those that did not.


Regional Brief 84 Raleigh Convention Center: Throwing good money after bad

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We are North Carolina’s Most Trusted and Influential Source of Common Sense. The John Locke Foundation was created in 1990 as an independent, nonprofit think tank that would work “for truth, for freedom, and for the future of North Carolina.” The Foundation is named for John Locke (1632-1704), an English philosopher whose writings inspired Thomas Jefferson and the other Founders.

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