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Grand Prix Officials Have Until Dec. 31 To Pay Back Debts

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Meghan McCorkell 370x278 Meghan McCorkell
Meghan McCorkell joined the Eyewitness News team in July 2011 as a...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The finish line could be coming soon for the Baltimore Grand Prix. A Dec. 31 deadline looms for Baltimore Racing Development to pay back more than a million dollars in taxes.

Meghan McCorkell has more on a controversial idea that could help the Grand Prix pay off debt.

Some members of the Federal Hill Neighborhood Association want to give back $10,000. It was given by the Baltimore Grand Prix, but the idea is splitting the community in two.

There was a heated meeting in Federal Hill Tuesday. The management of $10,000 given to the community by the Baltimore Grand Prix was at the crux of the argument.

“There’s a lot of great projects that have been proposed. Again, the board has not convened to review any of those proposals,” said Association President Ryan Hada.

But former board member Tom Gregory wanted to give the money back as the Grand Prix struggles to pay millions.

“Give it back. Just give it back. There’s a gal, she’s going to lose her business because the Grand Prix owes her $200,000,” Gregory said.

He’s talking about Cathy Vogel, whose company is still owed money by Baltimore Racing Development.

“Hopefully it won’t put me out of business, but it’s very scary right now,” Vogel said.

The state has placed a lien on Baltimore Racing Development. The company owes three quarters of a million dollars in city services, nearly half a million for admissions and amusement tax, $250,000 for a race event fee and $50,000 for parking at city-owned facilities. The city has set a Dec. 31 deadline for the Grand Prix to pay up or the mayor will pull the contract on future races.

If not, the Grand Prix may have run its last race.

Tuesday, the Federal Hill Neighborhood Association voted Tom Gregory out of office, along with two other board members. They still haven’t decided what to do with the money.

Baltimore Racing Development is trying to reorganize. IndyCar still has next year’s race on its schedule.

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