Car Rental Taxes Caught Up in Virginia, North Carolina Politics

In Richmond, Va., the General Assembly adjourned its special session two days early after failing to agree on a comprehensive transportation funding plan, The Associated Press reports.

Last week’s failed session highlighted the division over the Senate's desire for tax increases, including hotel and car rental taxes, and the House of Delegates' opposition to them.

In North Carolina’s Mecklenburg County, a car rental tax increase slated to pay for an arts and cultural complex will produce a rare windfall: roughly $1.37 million more than needed, according to the Charlotte Observer.

County commissioners approved the tax increase in September. Because most of the tax money will come from cars rented inside city limits, the City Council controls most of the proceeds. The rental tax will go from 11 percent to 16 percent Dec. 1.

County and city staff have been negotiating over how any excess money should be used. County officials had proposed swapping the county's 30 percent ownership share in the new arts buildings for the city's portion of city-owned Marshall Park in a bid to spur construction of an uptown baseball stadium for the minor-league Charlotte Knights. So far, the city is opposed to the plan, the Observer reports.

The county says local hospitality industry representatives want some of that money to be used to boost amateur sports, which will in turn draw more people to Charlotte car-rental agencies. But some, including Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, said they'd rather see this money go to roads.

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