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Potomac Yard arena legislation introduced to Virginia General Assembly

Rendering of aerial view of Monumental Arena development (image courtesy of JBG SMITH)

Bills have been introduced in both chambers of the Virginia General Assembly for a crucial piece of the Potomac Yard arena plans.

The arena requires a state-created Virginia Sports and Entertainment Authority to finance the arena’s construction and nearby buildings.

The Authority is responsible for financing $1.4 billion of the overall $2 billion construction cost.

The bill by State Sen. Scott Surovell introduced in the State Senate said the Authority would be entitled to various streams of tax revenue, including:

(i) sales tax revenues from construction and transactions on the campus, defined in the bill, but certain revenues that current law dedicates to transportation and education are excluded; (ii) all pass-through entity tax revenues and corporate income tax revenues from income generated by the company, defined in the bill, or any professional sports team or any affiliates as well as in the development and construction of the campus; and (iii) all personal income tax revenues from income generated through employment and business activity on the campus. It also authorizes the City of Alexandria to appropriate tax revenues to the Authority.

Surovell’s bill was referred to the Committee on Finance and Appropriations on Friday while a matching bill in the House of Delegates was referred to the House Committee on Appropriations.

Despite bipartisan support from local, state and federal leaders at the proposal’s debut last fall, some state leaders said they remain unconvinced that the arena is a good idea. State Sen. Adam Ebbin said full funding to the Metro is a prerequisite for discussion of the new arena after both local activists and Metro leadership raised concerns about the Potomac Yard Metro station’s ability to handle arena crowds.

Crossover for legislation is on Tuesday, Feb. 13. The last day of the session is March 9.

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