The Asheville Citizen-Times’ Jon Ostendorff reported late this afternoon that Buncombe County officials have suspended work on A-B Tech’s expansion project.
The college wants an 800-seat auditorium to host allied health and workforce development programs, but the county says taxpayers could be out tens of millions of dollars if the auditorium is used more for conferences than classes.
The county’s finance office says the federal government could charge a 39 percent penalty if the IRS deems the auditorium doesn’t fit with the tax-exempt bonds the county used to build it.
Assistant County Manager Jon Creighton, in a letter dated April 3, told the contractor, land surveyor, engineer and architect on the project that work is suspended because of “significant concerns” about the auditorium and its tax status. …