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Stafford admissions tax bill delayed

The Senate Finance Committee didn’t have enough members present to vote on a bill to let Stafford County charge an admissions tax.

But they let Sen. Richard Stuart talk about it Thursday anyway, with a promise to vote on it at the committee’s next meeting.

Stuart’s bill allows Stafford to charge an admissions tax for a specific, unnamed entertainment venue that the county is trying to attract.

Stuart, R–Stafford, said even he doesn’t know what it is, but the county Board of Supervisors asked for enabling authority from the state to charge an admissions tax, so he filed the bill.

It would kick in on July 1, 2014, and has a sunset clause of 2015 in case the county’s bid for the venue fails.

The window “gives them time to try to attract this specific, nondisclosable venue,” Stuart told the committee.

According to a fiscal impact statement on Stuart’s bill, currently Arlington, Brunswick, Culpeper, Dinwiddie, Fairfax, New Kent, and Prince George can levy an admissions tax up to 10 percent, while Charlotte, Clarke, Madison, Nelson, and Sussex can levy an admissions tax on attendance at spectator events only.

—Chelyen Davis