Bruton Smith sues over tax incentives
1:00 pm
Fri September 18, 2009

Bruton Smith sues over tax incentives

Race track mogul Bruton Smith is now suing the City of Concord and Cabarrus County in a years-long dispute over tax incentives he was promised when he built a drag strip near Lowe's Motor Speedway. WFAE's Julie Rose reports:

Bruton Smith was already talking about suing last September when he complained that Concord and Cabarrus had backed away from their promise to reimburse him for about $80 million in road improvements he planned to make around the speedway.

They reached an initial agreement in 2007. But the city and county formally submitted a proposal to Smith in 2008. And even back then, he told WFAE he wouldn't sign it.

"It was so ridiculous that I ripped it up and threw it in the wastebasket," said Smith.

Smith's complaint at the time - and what he outlines again in the lawsuit filed this week - is that Concord and Cabarrus want up to 40 years to fully reimburse Speedway Motorsports for road improvements that will be finished within three years.

"Let's just keep it simple, all right?," said Smith. "How about you loan me a thousand dollars. I agree to pay you, but I'm going to pay you back over 40 years. How do you feel about that? Do you think anybody would be stupid enough to agree on that? I mean, you loan me a thousand but I'm going to pay you back over 40 years? You know?"

In his lawsuit, Smith says he's already spent $4 million on road improvements and he wants to be paid back quickly. He also wants the court to make Concord and Cabarrus County finalize the deal he says they originally agreed to.

Officials at Concord and Cabarrus County say they haven't seen the lawsuit yet and have refused to comment.

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