- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 20, 2007


The D.C. Council yesterday introduced legislation to increase taxes on tickets and merchandise at Verizon Center to raise $50 million for improvements to the 10-year-old facility.

Washington Wizards owner Abe Pollin, who privately financed the construction of the $220 million Verizon Center, has asked the city to pay for upgrades including a new video scoreboard and renovation of luxury suites.

Under the legislation, the city would issue bonds backed by an increase in taxes on tickets and merchandise, from 5.25 percent to 10 percent.

Verizon Center, located at seventh and F Streets NW in the Chinatown section of the District, has been credited with helping to spark a redevelopment of the area.

Council members did not vote on the measure yesterday, but it received support from Council Chairman Vincent Gray and Jack Evans, Ward 2 Democrat and chairman of the council’s finance and revenue committee. Other members, including Kwame Brown, at-large democrat and chairman of the council’s economic development committee, said they were reluctant to approve new taxes.

Tim Lemke

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