SBD/Issue 144/Facilities & Venues

DC Boosts Verizon Center Ticket Tax To Cover $50M Upgrade

Tax Rate On Tickets, Merchandise Purchases
At Verizon Center To Increase To 10%
The tax rate on tickets and merchandise at Verizon Center will increase to 10% from 5.75% as “part of a plan to pay for $50[M] in renovations at the sports arena under a bill approved” Thursday by the DC Council, according to Nikita Stewart of the WASHINGTON POST. The plan includes the issuing of bonds to cover “major upgrades” at the arena. Wizards Owner Abe Pollin had requested the money, saying that he “could not afford to pay for the improvements himself.” Stewart notes Pollin still owes $110M on money borrowed to build the $220M arena. Pollin has agreed to give DC a “rent-free 24-seat luxury suite with numerous amenities and a clear view of the floor.” DC Council member Jack Evans said, “It’s very important that we keep the Verizon Center a first-class facility, and the $50[M] will go a long way” (WASHINGTON POST, 4/20).

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