by Michael Lowrey
Seems Charlotte City Council now wants to stockpile cash from the proposed increase in the prepared meals tax to help pay for additional Bank of America Stadiu upgrades or even a new facility for the Panthers… in 2028. This would be a very bad idea for many reasons. The Charlotte Observer describes one problem with this approach:
UNC Charlotte economist Craig Depken said governments usually focus only on paying for either a new stadium or renovation, not a potential second deal decades in the future. He isn’t aware of a city that has enacted a plan similar to Charlotte’s, where money would be put in reserve for a future request.
“Governments hand over power to the next government,” Depken said. “Locking down millions of dollars for a hypothetical future project? It’s a bit of a head scratcher.”
Depken said having cash reserves on hand could hamper a future City Council in negotiations with the Panthers in 2028 or beyond.
He said it would be like saving $50,000 to a buy new car.
“You walk into the dealer and say you have $50,000 for a new BMW, but you only want to pay $35,000,” he said. “You are going to pay $50,000. It doesn’t help your negotiating.”
Depken is correct, but City Council’s move (sadly) isn’t very surprising as there’s little evidence they have any idea of negotiating basics.