Mayor Sharon Pratt Kelly's
proposal to create a special
authority to issue tax-exempt revue
bonds to finance a $450 million
convention center in the Districtf
Columbia is moving toward final
passage by the district council.
The council on July 5 gave
preliminary approval to a bill th provides
for financing the debt service wi
dedicated taxes raised from
increased surcharges on hotels an
restaurants. The council added an escalator mechanism to increase t
levies if revenue shortfalls occu but
restaurants would be exempt.
The council is scheduled to vot
July 19 on final passage. On theme
timetable is legislation to make
permanent an income-based "public safety" tax on businesses and
institutions to help finance consuction of
a proposed $150 million, 21,000-st
sports arena in the district.
The one-time levy, enacted to
balance the fiscal 1994 budget, n
applies to nonprofit organizationthat
would be exempt from the
permanent tax. Revenues are projeed to
be $34 million in fiscal 1995, whh
begins Oct. 1.
The district projects $9 millioin
annual debt service on the propos
arena, which would house both the Capitals hockey team and the Bulls
basketball team now based at the
USAir Arena in Landover, Md.
The teams' owner, Abe Pollin,
signed a 30-day memorandum of
understanding with the district tt
expires July 31 to lay the groundrk
for a binding contract.
The council will discuss financg
and other issues at a July 15 heang.