The Carolina Panthers may have a new owner, but at least one thing remains constant, a provision tucked away in an otherwise unnoticed bill to provide a special tax break to the team (and Charlotte’s minor league baseball team). As explained last year, the Panthers (and Knights) rent the land for their stadiums from Mecklenburg County for next to nothing. Property values around the stadium have soared, so the team pays an intangibles tax on the market rent it would have paid. Without this, every sports team and many other people and businesses would look for ways to hand their property over to the government and lease it back, tax-free, without paying rent.

It is still a bad idea.