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Wilmington ballpark plan could mean tax hike

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — After talking about it for years, it looks like Wilmington City Council may be taking huge steps toward two projects. The city held a news conference this afternoon to discuss the details.

The Convention Center has been opened for more than a year. It now looks like it will soon get a hotel. But that’s not the only big news released today.

Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo announced the city will consider an agreement with Harmony Hospitality to build a full-service 194-room Sheraton, Embassy Suites or comparable hotel. Last spring, the city approved the proposal from Harmony Hospitality to build a Convention Center hotel. This next step, though, outlines the specifics of the proposal..

The mayor’s other announcement was about baseball. City Council will consider negotiating with Mandalay Baseball Properties and the atlanta braves to explore a public/private partnership. That could mean an increase in taxes.

“It might be a tax increase to pay for it,” Saffo said. “I’m not gonna sugarcoat this thing, but of course we’d have to have a public forum, public input to see where the public stand on this, because the public might be very much against it, but we’ve had a lot of people that have indicated they’d be very supportive of it, but it does come with a cost.”

The city is also going to reach out to surrounding counties.

We spoke with New Hanover County Commission Chair Ted Davis about a possible partnership with the city. He says he would not agree to using any property taxes to fund the stadium.

City Council will vote on these projects at their meeting next week.

More: continued here

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