Local Politics

Art Museum, RBC Center to Get Hotel, Meal Tax Money

Posted April 23, 2007

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— City and Wake County officials on Monday changed the rules for spending hotel room and restaurant tax revenue to free up money for an expansion at the North Carolina Museum of Art.

The Raleigh City Council and the Wake County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved taking $1.7 million from the major facilities fund for the art museum project to meet state financing requirements. The museum is adding a 127,000-square-foot building to its campus to house its permanent collection, freeing up its existing building for traveling exhibits.

City and county officials already pledged $15 million in hotel and restaurant taxes to the $138 million expansion.

The rules change also committed up to $26 million for capital improvements to the RBC Center. The Centennial Authority, which runs the arena, would be eligible to receive between $1 million and $1.5 million a year as long as the authority also kicks in at least $1 million annually and continues paying the city and county $1.8 million a year in lieu of property taxes.

Officials also agreed to set aside $350,000 a year for the next seven years to create a business development fund to help lure major conventions to the new downtown convention center.


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  • Bob3425 Apr 24, 2007

    methinkthis -- could not agree more, time to get rid of these politican and get someone in that cares about the people.

  • methinkthis Apr 23, 2007

    Why should all the people who use a hotel or restaurant be required to contribute to the RBC or the Art Museum which serve a small percentage of the population. Those who like to go to RBC events should pay enough to support the RBC instead of having it be a drain on taxpayer funds that could be used for things that affect a larger group. With a decaying infrastructure due to unmanaged growth there are more opportunities to improve daily life needs than a need to provide entertainment. Let the business world and the art aficionados fund the arts and let those who use RBC pay for it.

  • Gatsby Apr 23, 2007

    A total waste of $$$ this is an Easley pet project. Tax ...Tax & More Tax are proposed meanwhile schools are needed , roads are backed up for miles (think road-rage on Capital @ 5:15 PM) , mass transit projects are in the deep freeze and mental health issues are ignored. Lets renovate the arts museum...That will help. What a JOKE!! Its like the guy w/ $5 in his pocket buying beer instead of food.

  • Joshua Apr 23, 2007

    I am glad that we are finally funding the arts a bit more generously in Raleigh. I have no kids, and as my tax bill increases, I can't help but feel short-changed. Whereas, arts funding coming from hotel and restaurant patron taxation has little no no impact upon Raleigh residents.

  • BlarneyStone Apr 23, 2007

    I sincerely hope Morrisville's and ninenine99's comments were resonant of cynicism. Not everyone here in Raleigh share's that elitist view. Diversity is what makes it nice here. You can buy an old license plate from Bubba, have a fried twinkie, a Monet print while having a nice cabernet savignon all within the same mile!

  • Spittin Knowledge Apr 23, 2007

    Raleigh Needs to use the Doretha Dix land and create an amusement park .. slap on a six flags or something..
    IF that were to ever happen. I say do away with the State Fair.

  • Morrisville Apr 23, 2007

    "Glad to see some spending on the arts. Raleigh is still a hick town, primarily known for their ubiquitous strip malls and tract housing. Raleigh needs to represent the intelligent, educated people who live there. It's time to end the State Fair."

    Couldn't agree with you more. Move the State Fair to Johnston County where the Red Necks live. Leave RTP to the Intelligent.

  • ninenine99 Apr 23, 2007

    Glad to see some spending on the arts. Raleigh is still a hick town, primarily known for their ubiquitous strip malls and tract housing. Raleigh needs to represent the intelligent, educated people who live there. It's time to end the State Fair.

  • billengr99 Apr 23, 2007

    As for additional money for building schools, BigUNCFan, I think they have more than enough money. The problem is they don't manage their money very well. They build too many schools that are way to small. This isn't some rural podunk town anymore. With a metropolitan population of more than a million people, we should not be building elementary schools for 600-800 children. Any elementary school for less than 1,200 children is a waste of money. And for people who don't have children, they are probably tired of all their property tax money going to schools. They would like to see arts and sports and entertainment get some funding too.

  • billengr99 Apr 23, 2007

    I find it interesting that the collect the hotel and restaurant tax all over Wake County but only the City of Raleigh gets a vote on how the money gets used. Who agreed to that stupid plan? Half the people in the county DO NOT live in Raleigh. Why do the other municipalities not get a vote?