South Carolina Senate approves $115 million in tax breaks for Panthers

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The Panthers got their first win of the season, getting somebody to give them money for something they planned to do anyway.

According to Avery Wilks and Maayan Schechter of The State newspaper, the South Carolina Senate approved $115 million in tax breaks for the Panthers to build a practice facility south of the border.

The tax discounts package passed 27-15 Thursday, after days of debate about providing a free lunch of multi-billionaire owner David Tepper.

The bill needs final approval by the South Carolina House, but they approved their version of the bill in March.

Tepper was eager to work with South Carolina officials, and joined Gov. Henry McMaster’s inaugural committee. But he was able to see the measure pass, a day after threatening to keep the practice facility in Charlotte (which he doesn’t really have room to do near their downtown Charlotte stadium).

The Panthers plan to build practice fields and an indoor facility at the new complex, along with related development including hotels and a sports medicine complex.

41 responses to “South Carolina Senate approves $115 million in tax breaks for Panthers

  1. Good thing SC’s public school system is ranked 1st in country and doesn’t need any more tax revenue to help out its students…oh wait…it’s 47th…

  2. Disgusting. No state or city should be giving these billionaires a single penny. A practice facility will never generate anywhere near enough revenue to compensate the state for this. Those politicians should all be tossed out of office.

  3. ‘Tax Breaks’ IS NOT THE SAME AS “giving them money”.

    Tax breaks means instead of collecting $500m of future taxes, the state will collect only $385m in future taxes. South Carolina taxpayers will pay ZERO tax dollars to the Panthers, as none of this is out-of-pocket spending. PERIOD.

    And guess what? If the Panthers DIDN’T move the facilities, the SOUTH CAROLINA would have recieved ZERO tax dollars. Pretty sure my math says collecting $385 MILLION in taxes is better than collecting $0. The $115m tax break is an incentive to bring business into the state – well worth it if the other option is NOT to have ANY taxes at all.

  4. It was amusing, I’ll admit, to see Tepper rush to join McMaster’s inaugural committee, given Tepper’s public statements about Trump and McMaster’s political profile. That was when I personally thought that Tepper was going to target a project for south of the border in S.C.

    I’m glad that he got tax breaks instead of actual funding, and the government of S.C. has been pretty generous (since Haley made it a priority) with giving large out of state corporations such breaks (like Boeing and Amazon). Those have had mixed results, both bad and good, and public opinion locally reflects that. The difference with the Panthers (outside of being an NFL franchise) is that they have had a presence in S.C. for a while, unlike the out of the state companies that settled here recently. I’m sure that affected local stances. I would much rather, though, that the NFL’s richest owner by far had built his own facility with his own money. I don’t doubt that’s a hefty investment, and this is how business is done with these types of projects, but he can certainly afford it.

  5. Tax breaks for the businesses and individuals who need them the least of all! Hooray for late-stage crony capitalism!

  6. “Thank you taxpayers”, said the billionaire once he caught his breath from laughing so hard.

  7. NBC gets Tax Breaks Worth Tens of Millions, its just the way it is for any business that is big enough to make demands.

  8. You are being robbed.

    The NFL is the robber.

    This. Cannot. Continue.

    The NFL makes enough revenues to allow them to fund/finance their own facilities and operations without forcing the Taxpayer to get abused.

    At some point Federal Legislation or Restrictions on the NFL may be needed to help protect taxpayers. Many of these decisions are being made under duress or threats (both implicit or explicit). Teams are essentially forcing these public inputs OR threatening to leave.

    Why does the Public put up with this now as standard?

  9. garsondebramelow says: “Good thing SC’s public school system is ranked 1st in country and doesn’t need any more tax revenue to help out its students…oh wait…it’s 47th…”
    —————————-

    Guess what, South Carolina will now have ADDITIONAL tax revenues to spend on schools. If they didn’t offer the TAX BREAKS to entice the Panthers to bring in the business, the state would have received ZERO.

  10. As the State should. This is a tourism / entertainment busniess that brings money to the state in the form of visitor spending separate form the team revenue. Some other state will realize the value and approve tax breaks if this one doesn’t. Financially speaking, the state will come out ahead in tax revenue by offering the tax breaks. Basic economics.

  11. harrisonhits2 says:
    May 9, 2019 at 2:03 pm
    Disgusting. No state or city should be giving these billionaires a single penny. A practice facility will never generate anywhere near enough revenue to compensate the state for this. Those politicians should all be tossed out of office.
    —————————————

    You’re right. It’s a good thing North Carolina dodged having to collect that minuscule tax revenue. Those jobs would have been terrible for the people that live there. Let SC deal with the headache.

  12. arclight1972 says: “How much revenue will the state get form this?”
    ———————-

    MORE THAN ZERO. Which is what South Carolina would’ve gotten if the Panthers did not bring in the business into the state.

    SC is offering to take a slight discount on tax revenues as a discount, so instead of taking $500m (*made up number*) over the next 15-20 years, they’ll collect $385m. Which is still a lot more than ZERO.

  13. randalpnaditch says: “Hey, I’d like to put in a pool and a new deck. I wonder if the taxpayers would mind paying for that for me.”
    ——————

    Completely wrong analogy. TAXPAYERS ARE NOT PAYING A SINGLE CENT.

    A better one: You want to put in a new pool and deck as part of your business you’re starting. One state (South Carolina) is willing to take in only $10,000 in income taxes whereas the other state is offering no discount and will charge you the full $12,000 in income taxes.

    Either way, taxpayers ARE NOT paying you anything.

  14. Current American political logic explained in two sentences:

    Socialism for the already rich and their corporations.

    Rugged individualism for the rest.

  15. Since WHEN is the government “entitled” to tax revenue?
    The government’s JOB is to make the area attractive to local private businesses, which in turn create jobs, which results in a larger and more affluent tax base.
    Businesses are just like people and do NOT want to pay any more taxes than they have to.
    But apparently ya’ll want businesses to pay more than they have to, which would ultimately result in the business leaving for greener pastures.
    I have NO problem with this.
    Instead, ya’ll should be asking how a democrat politician can become a multi-millionaire in 4 years by going to DC despite having an annual salary of $176k.

  16. It’s socialism for the rich. They live off the public dole. Always have … always will.

  17. Looks like quite a few commentors learned their economics at Boston U. right next to AOC. It’s a tax break. It’s not real money. If the Panthers don’t build a facility in SC, the state gets $0 in taxes.

  18. The article and most of the comments demonstrate the total lack of understanding about how these incentives work. South Carolina is not providing a “free lunch” to the owner. It is providing a “discounted lunch” to get the business in the first place. Discounted taxes are more than zero taxes. There will be a benefit to SC from the project. There wouldn’t be a benefit if it goes into North Carolina or anywhere else.

  19. “Officials have said the project will feature an orthopedic sports medicine facility employing about 200 people and a hotel with at least 150 rooms and space for conferences. It also could attract a corporate headquarters and residential projects, a team official told The State”

    The Panthers weren’t going to build in SC no matter what. Lower the taxes the Panthers will be required to pay on the new facilities offers the Panthers an incentive to build in SC rather than NC. It appears that this project also includes other services which will create jobs. Those jobs create tax revenue for the state of SC. Also included are infrastructure improvements which will receive federal money.

    In short, there is no good reason for SC to not offer this deal. They lose nothing and only gain. The state isn’t giving the Panthers money. They are choosing not to collect as much money from the Panthers as they could. Why? Because doing so is in the best interest of the state and the local community.

  20. Great! More tax breaks for billionaires, the people who need and deserve tax breaks least. This is how our political system really works — socialism for the billionaires and capitalism for the masses.

  21. Just wait until the oil companies ask for a tax break when they start putting oil platforms off the South Carolina coast.

  22. Remember that time NBCsports turned down tax incentives? Me neither.

    “Berger said a lobbyist for NBC, which received $42 million from the state during the last fiscal year for its Connecticut divisions, recently aired the network’s concerns to him. The credits are separate from a $20 million forgivable loan the state awarded to NBC, which moved its sports division from New York City to Stamford in 2013 and brought with it 450 jobs. Between its sports division and talk show tapings in Stamford, NBC spent $181 million locally during last fiscal year”

  23. while it is possible that a plan like this may result in some more affluence, it will also create more demand for local services and schools, which requires a larger budget. By not paying their fair portion, someone else has to pick up the difference.

    I have lived in a fairly affluent small city for 35 years….I’ve seen all the tax-break schemes. In the end, what always seems to be forgotten is that more development increases the needs for police, fire and EMT services, city administrative services, library services, and schools, which all cause budget increases.

    If some aren’t paying their full share, then someone else has to make up the difference.

    The math isn’t that hard.

  24. I love the logic that if SC hadn’t given this tax break that Tepper would have gone elsewhere for the Panthers practice facility. Really? Such as where? What if NC likewise refused to give him a freebie? North Dakota? The Caribbean? What if ALL government served the people and NO states offered the billionaires tax breaks? Then where would the rich go for their freebies? Maybe if government worked for us at every level, they wealthy would pay their fair share.

  25. Bottom line S.C. gets 3 to 4 million in taxes. N. C. won’t. No tax money goes to anyone. The ignorance here is embarrassing.

  26. Others have said it but it seems a ton of people still don’t get it. Tepper and the Panthers are not getting a handout or welfare from SC. They are going to pay less tax to the state then they would have if they without this negotiation. The Panthers and Tepper are fronting the total cost of the project which will include a 10,000 seat indoor sports facility. This is a huge boom to Rock Hill, SC. Not to mention that with this facility SC will be collecting over 300 million in taxes that they would not have collected if the facility was built elsewhere.

  27. Can’t help but laugh at all the people angry about so-called “welfare for billionaires”. If any of the Trump family asked for the same thing you’d be falling all over yourselves to give them whatever they wanted…no questions asked.

  28. Good thing SC’s public school system is ranked 1st in country and doesn’t need any more tax revenue to help out its students…oh wait…it’s 47th…
    —–
    As a resident of SC I can tell you most folks don’t care because they’re going to drop out anyway.

  29. For SC, it is growth from dollar ZERO. They get zero revenue from the Panthers now. With these tax breaks, they will GROW revenues with the industry and consumers that will come along with this facility. Good for him.

  30. garsondebramelow says:

    Good thing SC’s public school system is ranked 1st in country and doesn’t need any more tax revenue to help out its students…oh wait…it’s 47th…
    ====================================================

    Pouring more money into education has been a failure for 40 years. The money keeps increasing by billions and the scores keep dropping. The problem is cultural, not financial.

  31. 345snarkavenue says:
    May 9, 2019 at 3:33 pm
    while it is possible that a plan like this may result in some more affluence, it will also create more demand for local services and schools, which requires a larger budget. By not paying their fair portion, someone else has to pick up the difference.

    I have lived in a fairly affluent small city for 35 years….I’ve seen all the tax-break schemes. In the end, what always seems to be forgotten is that more development increases the needs for police, fire and EMT services, city administrative services, library services, and schools, which all cause budget increases.

    If some aren’t paying their full share, then someone else has to make up the difference.

    The math isn’t that hard.
    _________________________________________

    The multiple millions of tax dollars the state will receive from this deal will more than cover any uptick in additional police, fire, EMT, or city officials being needed. There is already tons of development in this area, it’s one of the fastest growing areas in the country, so building a team facility is not going to cause new schools to be built.. this is already happening all over the Charlotte area (particularly in the Fort Mill/Rock Hill area) This can only be a good thing for the area – the state will have PLENTY of $$ to cover the extra expenses the project may bring, along with much more additional tax revenue the state can invest in schools, roads, etc. – there’s really no negative way to spin this other than if you live in the area and don’t want them building in your backyard…

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