Sales tax option omitted in Wenatchee bailout
Friday, November 25, 2011
WENATCHEE, Wash. (AP) -- Lawmakers have taken out a sales tax provision in a bill that would provide the Wenatchee area a $42 million state bailout.
Starting on Monday, lawmakers will begin pushing a bill to financially help the Greater Wenatchee Regional Events Center Public Facilities District, which has been unable to pay off short-term debt for the Town Toyota Center arena, a 4,300-seat facility completed in 2008 that hosts hockey games and other events.
The city can't legally issue new bonds without exceeding its debt capacity, according to a judge's ruling.
Facing a default, local leaders went to the state Treasurer's office, which wrote the bill providing the bailout.
But the Wenatchee World reports (http://bit.ly/v7MvxR ) that local Wenatchee leaders didn't like a provision in the measure that would have allowed the arena agency to impose a .2 percent additional sales tax in the Wenatchee area without voter approval.
The bill now calls for the agency to come up with a plan to repay the state, if not the state will withhold about $4 million a year from state money to the Wenatchee area for 10 years.