Tax Exemptions-Panthers

FILE - In this July 10, 2018 file photo, New Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper answers a question during a news conference at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. The South Carolina Senate appears to be preparing for a key vote on whether to give the Carolina Panthers tax breaks and incentives to move their practice fields out of South Carolina. State Sen. Dick Harpootlian removed his objection on the bill Tuesday, May 7, 2019, so it could come to a vote. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina Senate has agreed to provide $120 million in tax breaks to the Carolina Panthers to move their practice fields and team headquarters out of North Carolina.

The 27-15 vote Thursday came after contentious debate with several senators questioning whether public money should be given to a billionaire NFL owner and the $3.8 billion proposed economic benefit of the new facility is wildly exaggerated.

The bill, enthusiastically backed by Gov. Henry McMaster, would exempt the Panthers from paying state income taxes for players, coaches and other employees for 15 years as long as they use the money to build their new complex near Rock Hill.

The team will continue to play games 15 miles (24 kilometers) north in Charlotte, North Carolina.

McMaster is expected to quickly sign the bill.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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