by Sarah Curry
Director of Fiscal Policy Studies
I went to the NC Battleship a couple of months ago and there were signs everywhere stating they were 100% funded with private donations. I thought that was incorrect, and the House budget made it very easy to prove the Battleship wrong.
In the Speaker’s press release that came out this morning about the passage of the House budget, they highlighted:
• USS North Carolina – Provides $3 million matching funds to complete the cofferdam construction and hull repair.
If you go to the Battleship’s website, it very plainly states:
As the Battleship receives no funding from federal, state or local government for its operations, the Friends as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, acts as the fundraising arm for the Battleship. The Ship’s primary revenue source is generated from admissions, gift shop sales, rentals, donations and Friends membership.
And in the spirit of transparency, the Battleship received $500,000 in state funds last year to repair its hull.
Whether or not the Battleship is the responsibility of state government is moot, the point here is that the Battleship is advertizing false information to visitors and taxpayers alike. Other North Carolina landmarks such as Old Salem and Tryon Palace don’t hide the fact they receive state money, and neither should the Battleship.