WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – Americans for Prosperity, a group against using taxpayer dollars to build a baseball stadium in Wilmington, held a press conference Tuesday afternoon to make a "major announcement."
The group announced it spent $20,000 on media to buy an ad against using taxpayer money for baseball. The ad aired for the first time Tuesday morning at 5:00.
Americans for Prosperity pitched in to help the Privately Funded Baseball Alliance with the project, and the groups announced their effort on the steps of city hall. There, the state director of Americans for Prosperity said it's unfair to the taxpayers to have a baseball stadium "shoved down their throats" during a recession.
With reps from the Atlanta Braves and Mandalay Baseball watching, the business owner in the TV ad said that city council should be more focused on improving the fundamentals of the city, like the budget and road repairs.
"We can't afford this," said Scott Harry of the Privately Funded Baseball Alliance. "It's not the job of the government to take the money of hard-working tax payers and give it to a corporation. I can't stand this. It's not going to stand."
More than 3,400 signatures have been collected from residents who are against a publicly-funded baseball stadium in Wilmington. Organizers held an event over the weekend in an effort to gain even more signatures.
City leaders have issued a survey to residents to see how willing they are to pay for a ballpark in the area.
The survey asks residents if they would support a one to two cent property tax increase to pay for the multi-use park. One penny would equal an extra $16 for the average property owner.
It also raises the question of increasing the room occupancy tax. Right now it's the same as almost every other city in the state at 6 percent. Charlotte is the only exception with a ROT of 9 percent.
The survey also outlines five possible locations for the potential ball park:
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