GREENSBORO, N.C. -- From Greensboro to Greenville. The first and second rounds of the NCAA tournament were supposed to be played in Tournament Town but then House Bill 2 happened.
The Triad is missing out on national exposure and millions of tax dollars, specifically hotel/motel taxes. Could that loss affect the progress of the Steven Tanger Center for Performing Arts?
Last time the NCAA Tournament was in town back in 2012, the city made more than $286,000 in hotel/motel tax. Missing out on the Big Dance this year isn't good but it's not detrimental to the project.
The Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts is going to cost more than $78 million with the cost being split nearly 50-50 between taxpayer dollars and private funds.
The city is going to pay it's $39.6 million bill with hotel/motel taxes, parking fees and ticket fees.This summer, the city will have $2 million set aside in raised hotel/motel taxes. Revenue from this tax is up over last year.
The city needs to have the money to pay for the project up front. It's secured a $30 million loan. It's a short-term variable rate note that will mature in December 2017. In November, the city will convert the loan to long-term bonds and increase the total borrowed to $39.6 million. The city expects it to be a 25-year loan with a 4.5% interest rate.
What if the three revenue options aren't enough to cover the loan?
Mayor Nancy Vaughan says the city would have to use property taxes. But to be clear - that's not an option on the table right now. Mayor Vaughan says the city is on track to be able to meet it's financial commitment.
The rest of the money to pay for the project will come from private donors. The Community Foundation of Greensboro has secured financing for it's portion and has already collected $19 million in donations.
Construction is expected to begin this summer.