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Restaurant Association Wants Arena Commitment Honored

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RALEIGH — As elected county and city officials tossthe idea of a sports arena back and forth at regular meetings, the NorthCarolina Restaurant Association says it will demand that the Wake Countyprepared meals tax be repealed.

Jerry Williams, executive vice president of the NCRA says therestaurant industry agreed not to fight the hotel room and restaurant

taxes in 1991 because officials said sports, cultural and arts facilitieswould be built with collected tax money to enhance regional development.Williams says the industry will now fight for repeal of those taxes if theproposed sports arena is not built.

This move adds yet another complication to the ongoing battle over aproposed 21,300 seat facility. Originally, the facility was going to carrya price tag of $66 million. More recently, it has been proposed that thearena be equipped to house major league hockey, which would increase thecost to $132 million.

Wake County Commissioners voted Monday night to meet jointlywith Raleigh City Council before making a decision on proposal.

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