State officials peg the value of tax exemptions that would be given Jack Kent Cooke to build a new football stadium for the Washington Redskins at about $7.5 million annually. Cooke also would enjoy a one-time exemption of $2.9 million from taxes on materials and supplies needed for construction.
However, the tax exemptions, designed as incentives to get Cooke to build a stadium at Potomac Yard in Alexandria, Va., are deemed too generous by some state lawmakers, who must approve authorizing legislation before work on the stadium is started. Lawmakers also have to take into account the opposition voiced by many residents in the Alexandria area.
Cooke, who owns the Redskins, wants to move the team from RFK Stadium in Washington to a more modern facility. He said he would pay the $160 million cost.
Gov. L. Douglas Wilder has proposed a number of tax exemptions for the project, including one from an admissions tax on tickets. The exemption could be worth from $2 million to $4.6 million a year, depending on whether the tax covered the value of sky box and club box leases.
State officials stress that the idle Potomac Yard property is not producing any tax revenue. Moreover, they say the proposed stadium is only part of a development package.
"We think the stadium is the linchpin for developing the rest of the Potomac Yard site." said Paul W. Timmreck, the state's finance secretary.
Officials project tax revenues from the project at $3.4 million in 1993, moving to $40.2 million by 2012. In addition to a stadium, the Potomac Yard site would house a mixed-use development.