‘The win for South Carolina is incredible…’
(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) Local, state and federal taxpayers will foot the bill for the ultra-wealthy Carolina Panthers NFL franchise to move its headquarters and practice facilities from Charlotte, NC, to Rock Hill, SC.
The team will still play its home games in Charlotte at Bank of America Stadium.
The South Carolina legislature offered the Carolina Panthers $115 million in state tax breaks after a bill cleared the House and Senate on Monday, The Charlotte Observer reported.
As part of the team’s move, South Carolina will build a $40 million “new I-77 interchange providing access to the expected Panthers’ site.”
South Carolina lawmakers said federal taxpayers will pay half the cost, about $20 million, for the infrastructure project.
South Carolina citizens will pay $12.5 million, and Rock Hill citizens will cover the final $7.5 million.
The Carolina Panthers franchise, with a net worth of $2.3 billion, will contribute nothing to the project.
“The win for South Carolina is incredible,” said House Majority Leader Gary Simrill, R-York.
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, a Republican, has championed the NFL tax breaks from their inception. He will likely sign bill 4243 and finalize the deal.
Republicans control the both chambers of the South Carolina General Assembly. They spearheaded the effort with some opposition from Democrats.
State Sen. Dick Harpootlian, D-Richland, did not allow a vote on the bill for two months because he wanted to see the state Commerce Department’s economic assessment of it.
The Commerce Department said the tax breaks would bring $3.8 billion in economic activity and 5,715 jobs over 15 years.
Harpootlian hired Rebecca Gunnlaugsson, the former chief economist at the Commerce Department, to provide a separate analysis.
She said the Commerce Department overstated the positive benefits by $2.7 billion, bringing the total economic benefit to $1.1 billion.
Gunnlaugsson said the move would only create about 208 jobs.