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A Taxing Decision
Winston-Salem aldermen reject resolution on tax-funded stadium

WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina (AP) -- The Winston-Salem board of aldermen has decided not to take a position on a proposal to use taxpayers' money to help build a $210 million major-league baseball stadium in the Triad.

The aldermen voted 6-2 Monday against the board taking a stand on the proposal, which will be decided by voters in Forsyth and Guilford counties in a May 5 referendum.

Vernon Robinson and Steve Whiton cast the dissenting votes.

Guilford County commissioners plan to approve a resolution Thursday opposing the creation of a 1 percent prepared-foods tax and a 50-cent tax on all baseball tickets to finance two-thirds of the cost of the stadium.

The taxes would be charged only if Major League Baseball awards a franchise to an ownership group led by Hickory businessman Don Beaver.

Whiton said he expects that Forsyth and Guilford county commissioners will eventually have to raise property taxes to help pay for the debt on the stadium.

"I can hear the public hollering now," he said.

Baseball supporters claim the stadium will provide jobs and improve the quality of life in Forsyth County. Opponents dislike the idea of taxpayers shelling out money for a privately-owned team.