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Staff report
CONCORD Former N.C. Governors Jim Hunt and Jim Holshouser will speak to the Cabarrus County Board of Commissioners Monday night in support of a tax incremental financing bond for the North Carolina Research Campus now under development in Kannapolis.
They are part of an all-star lineup appearing at the request of state Reps. Jeff Barnhart and Linda Johnson, both Cabarrus Republicans; Rep. Fred Steen, a Rowan County Republican; and state Sen. Fletcher Hartsell, also a Cabarrus Republican.
Barnhart chairs the nonprofit Alliance for Tomorrow, formed in recent months to support the research campus.
The other legislators also are members of the alliance.
Other TIF bond supporters to address commissioners will include Phil Kirk, vice president for external relations at Catawba College and chairman emeritus of the State Board of Education; Dr. Larry Keen, vice president for the Division of Economic and Workforce Development for the North Carolina Community College System; and David Dunn, vice chancellor for University Relations and Community Affairs for the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Kirk also belongs to Alliance for Tomorrow.
Kannapolis City Council has approved a $168.4 million self-financing bond amount and a full list of projects to be financed through those bonds.
Kannapolis officials hope that Cabarrus County will agree to share half of the debt service on the bonds. TIF bonds, also called self-financing bonds, dont require voter approval, and they pay for public projects within a special development district, which the research campus would become.
The new tax revenues going to the city and county from the research campus would first be used to pay off the bonds. Bond analysts have told government officials that the campus, if developed as projected, would generate revenues well in excess of the required debt service.
A revenue estimate provided by the city shows Kannapolis earning $57.5 million in excess revenues from the research campus over the 25-year life of the bonds.
That is, the city would have an additional $57.5 million after paying off its bond obligation.
Cabarrus County would earn almost $149 million in excess revenue after paying off its share of the bonds, according to figures from the city.
The bonds would pay for things such as street and intersection improvements, parks, parking decks, utilities and other infrastructure needs related to the campus.
Critics of the bonds have said revenues used to pay off the bonds would rob Cabarrus County of money it needs to build new schools.

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