Local Politics

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

Posted April 23, 2007 12:40 p.m. EDT
Updated April 23, 2007 1:38 p.m. EDT

— 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.