Crucial stadium vote faces opposition in state house

Crucial stadium vote faces opposition in state house
Proposed stadium for downtown Birmingham. (Source: BJCC)

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - It's a critical piece of legislation that could help make a new open air stadium in Birmingham more than just talk and it's up for a vote on Wednesday morning in the house committee.

The bill will add a three percent tax increase to car rentals and leases in Jefferson County, bringing an estimated 3.5 million dollars a year to help fund the project.

Representative Rod Scott of Fairfield who favors the bill said the time is now. "We need to move forward. It's the right idea. It's the right time and the right place for the development. There is nothing else in Jefferson County, no other arenas that are in position to move forward."

Scott, who said he's faced threats because of his support, he believes this move will better position the county for economic development. "Remember the World Games will be here in 2021 and we need to show our best face so we can begin to attract economic development money from all over the world."

"It's a bad deal for Birmingham. Period," said Representative John Rogers. He is making it known that Birmingham will lose out if this bill moves forward. "I guarantee you when the county gets in trouble in about 10 years with a sewer, they are going to take the $30 million back, like they've done before and the city of Birmingham will be left holding the bag," continued Rogers.

The representative said he asked for a public hearing on the matter ahead of Wednesdays vote, but that request wasn't gr anted.

"I guarantee you, it's going to one hell of a show tomorrow. We are not going to lay down on this. We are going to fight to the bitter end," continued Rogers.

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