Speaker Richardson is proposing some incentives to encourage NASCAR to build it’s Hall of Fame in Atlanta rather than Charlotte or Daytona. Here are some details:
The bill would exempt the hall of fame from state sales and use taxes on construction materials, an estimated saving of $6.4 million, on the proposed $92 million project near Centennial Olympic Park.
The state’s total incentive package, according to news reports, will include a $3 million grant and an $18 million loan from an economic development bond fund created by the legislature last session. The city of Atlanta will contribute $5 million. Bottom line is an estimated $32.4 million in incentives.
That may seem like a lot, but it’s chump change compared to what Charlotte is offering:
Atlanta has to compete with a huge pot of incentives by Charlotte. The estimated cost of the hall of fame designed by that city’s team is a whopping $137.5 million though it does include expansion of the convention center. From public funds, the city is offering a staggering $102.5 million in hotel/motel taxes and a $20 million donation of property to be used as collateral in financing the project.
That totals $122.5 million in Charlotte incentives.
There’s no doubt the NASCAR Hall of Fame would be a popular destination in Atlanta, and with the Georgia Aquarium, Phillips Arena, the Georgia Dome, etc… all located near Centennial Olympic Park, Shirley Franklin would be a happy lady. Are the incentives being proposed too much, too little or should they be offered at all?