A proposal in the Virginia General Assembly would use sales taxes generated by development in Richmond’s Shockoe Bottom area to pay for a new ballpark.A proposal in the Virginia General Assembly would use sales taxes generated by development in Richmond’s Shockoe Bottom area to pay for a new ballpark.
A proposal from G. Manoli Loupassi, a Republican delegate from Richmond, would use the revenue from state sales taxes — currently taxed at the 4 percent level — to help pay for the $363 million Shockoe Bottom development, which could include hotels, retail and office space in addition to a new ballpark for an affiliated team. There’s no estimate yet as to how much revenue the sales-tax rebates would generate.
Using sales-tax rebates — or tax-increment financing — as a way to fund development is a common one in the development world (for instance, there are more than 1,500 tax-increment financing districts in Wisconsin alone). Their usage extends far beyond the sports world.
Loupassi and a group seeking to bring Eastern League baseball to Richmond say because Shockoe Bottom doesn’t generate much in the way of sales-tax revenues now it’s appropriate to use that money to spur private investment. Opponents of the ballpark and the development say the sales-tax diversion represents a public subsidy toward what had been pitched to city officials and the public as a private venture.
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