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Lawmakers consider giving extra taxing authority to Fredericksburg, Stafford

BY CHELYEN DAVIS

RICHMOND—Stafford County and the city of Fredericksburg could use taxing authority to help lure entertainment or recreation venues under bills approved by a House committee on Monday.

One bill will let Stafford levy an admissions tax, up to 10 percent, for a specific, unnamed entertainment venue that the county is trying to attract.

The other bill adds Fredericksburg to the list of localities allowed to retain a portion of the sales and use tax generated by a public facility to pay off bonds issued to construct the facility.

City officials haven’t announced what facility they would use the bonds to build or improve, although they did hold a closed session recently to discuss “a prospective outdoor commercial recreation business.”

Sen. Richard Stuart, R–Stafford, is the sponsor of both bills.

He said Monday that the Stafford bill has been amended to require the unnamed business purchase at least 75 acres in the county by this coming June. If the county fails to attract the business by 2015, the authorization to levy an admissions tax will expire.

Stuart said he doesn’t know what entertainment group Stafford is trying to lure, except that he’s been told it’s “very child-friendly and family-oriented.”

“Sounds like it’s going to be a good project if they can get it in there,” he said.

Both bills were passed by the House Finance committee on a 19–2 vote; Del. Mark Cole, R–Spotsylvania, was one of the no votes on both bills.

They have already passed the Senate and will now go to the full House for a vote later this week.

Chelyen Davis: 804/343-2245

cdavis@freelancestar.com

 

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