Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Fund created to appease ballpark critics

By Eric Fisher

D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams, facing heated criticism across the city for his $435.2 million plan to build a baseball stadium in Southeast, yesterday announced the creation of a community benefit fund that would be tied to the ballpark and generate up to $400 million for city schools, libraries and recreation programs.

Although the details of the plan are decidedly sketchy, the fund would be supported by the creation of a tax-increment financing (TIF) district around and immediately north of the proposed ballpark site near South Capitol and O streets. In the TIF district, tax money above what already is being generated would be funneled into the benefit fund. Also undetermined are the recipients and criteria for distributing the money.

But the primary goals of the evolving plan are to soothe political opposition to the ballpark proposal and address repeated cries for improvements to basic city services and infrastructure.

Read the entire article here on the Washington Times website.