Alabama house overwhelmingly approves taxing rental cars to fund college football stadium, because revitalization!

Birmingham’s $174 million college football stadium (I’m guessing you’ll be able to tell which Birmingham I mean by the rest of that noun clause) took another step forward yesterday, after the Alabama state house approved a 3% car rental tax hike by a 14-3 vote:

The tax has been on the books since 2001, when it was proposed to help build a domed stadium, but has never been collected. The bill would start collection of the tax when the BJCC Authority contractually commits to building the stadium…

The bill, which has passed the Senate, now goes to Gov. Kay Ivey, who could sign it into law.

As a reminder, local taxpayers will be contributing $15.7 million a year — about $250 million in present value — toward a stadium that will mostly serve to allow the University of Alabama-Birmingham’s football team to move from one part of town to another. Or, as Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin put it:

“The action the Alabama House took today puts us one step closer to Birmingham having state-of-the art facilities to better compete for tourism, sporting and entertainment business. In addition, expanding and renovating the BJCC will generate millions of dollars over the next decade for the city that will go to neighborhood revitalization.”

Out of his goddamn mind.

4 comments on “Alabama house overwhelmingly approves taxing rental cars to fund college football stadium, because revitalization!

  1. Article in today’s Dayton Daily News (page B1 ” Bill would fund sports hosting”) about Ohio legislators considering more grants for sporting events. It would appear states have too much money or should be investing in infrastructure instead of waiting for federal dollars to fix infrastructure. Representatives from the major Ohio pro sports teams (Reds, Cavaliers, Browns, Indians, etc) testified for House Bill 531. Why don’t they just cough up the money themselves instead of jumping on another sports bandwagon to screw the taxpayers.

  2. Am I crazy…

    (yes, yes I am. But.)

    …or is the same University of Alabama-Birmingham football program that the university actually voted to shut down a few years ago?

    • Yes it is. The the majority of the Board of Trustees that supported shutting down the program were Alabama-Tuscaloosa alums who has been routinely accused of stymieing UAB’s growth ( The public outcry led to the revival of the program. Incidentally, they have to get this stadium built soon if want to use it for this shindig:

      Now while the world games doesn’t require new venues in order to keep costs down (, I guess whoever is organizing thinks our lacrosse teams or ultimate frisbee team needs a new stadium to win gold in.

  3. The history of Alabama towards local schools such as South Alabama and Troy ( not to mention UAB) is terrible (refusing to play them ( even at home) is just one example). I also acknowledge that UAB plays in a stadium that makes the Oakland Coliseum look like Camden Yards, but $174m for a stadium for a school whose popularity level falls below Temple’s at the local area is a waste of money.