SBD/December 26, 2013/Facilities

New DC United Stadium Could Receive Extensive Breaks On Sales, Property Taxes

DC United would not pay property tax in the first five years of the proposed lease
A planned new stadium for MLS DC United "could receive extensive breaks on sales and property taxes over the next three decades, and in return the team could share some of its revenue with the city," according to O'Connell & DeBonis of the WASHINGTON POST. City Administrator Allen Lew began meeting with members of the DC Council late last week "to brief them on the status of deals he is arranging among the city, the team and landowners on Buzzard Point," where Mayor Vincent Gray "envisions a 20,000-seat stadium for the soccer team." Three members of the council and a Gray administration official "outlined the preliminary deal." Two members were told that DC United "would owe no sales tax on any commercial activity on the stadium footprint -- including tickets, concessions and even such businesses as restaurants that might locate adjacent to the stadium -- throughout the team’s 30-year lease." For the "first five years of the 30-year lease, the team would pay no property tax." For each "subsequent five-year period, the team would pay an additional 25 percent of the tax normally due, with 100 percent owed for the last 10 years of the lease." A council member on Monday said that the property tax provision "remains in flux, with some pressing Lew to negotiate more guaranteed tax dollars for the city rather than engage in a revenue-sharing agreement whose benefits are more speculative and could be evaded through team accounting maneuvers" (WASHINGTON POST, 12/24).
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