Sales tax capture bill for ballpark stadium passed by committee

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Sales tax legislation with a lens focused on a possible future Knoxville minor league baseball stadium continues to advance in the Tennessee General Assembly.

On Wednesday, the bill dubbed the Knoxville Sports and Entertainment Complex by one of the co-sponsors passed through the Senate State and Local Committee.

The bill was filed last month by Knoxville area legislator Sen. Becky Duncan Massey (R-Knoxville) and Rep. Jason Zachary is a co-sponsor.

The bill sets requirements for tax revenues (state and local) within a quarter-mile of the center of the proposed ballpark in the Old City. If passed, it would allow some tax dollars to go toward its cost. The project is still in the planning phase but local leaders say they are aiming for a 2022 opening.

As for the stadium planning process in Knoxville, the city has planned a virtual meeting Thursday from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. It’s part of a series of public meetings and workshops on the proposed redevelopment east of the Old City.

Back in December, city leaders approved the creation of a sports authority for the stadium project. A sports authority is an advisory panel of citizens that oversees the development of a sports facility. City and county officials will appoint a minimum of seven members to sit on the sports authority board.

If the bill passes, the sports authority would receive any sales taxes above the amount generated within that radius as of 2020.

The bill(s), SB0783/HB1204 as introduced “sets the apportionment and distribution requirements of state and local tax revenue associated with a new minor league baseball stadium constructed and placed in service between December 31, 2020, and December 31, 2025.”

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