D.C. caves to M.L.B.

After briefly showing some spine, D.C.’s mayor and Council Chair have agreed on a financing package that strips the requirement that half the construction costs come from private financing. It looks like Major League Baseball will come to the District, after all: Under the new proposal, which the 13-member council is to vote on today, the city will purchase insurance for potential cost overruns on the stadium and split the payments with Major League Baseball. Also, District officials will continue pursuing private financing for the project for several months. But Cropp said she will drop a requirement that 50 percent of the construction costs be paid for with private money … The new stadium, to be built near the Navy Yard and South Capitol Street in Southeast Washington, has been estimated by various city officials to cost from $440 million to $584 million, including infrastructure and land acquisition. The ballpark itself would cost $279 million, meaning the legislation adopted last week would require $140 million in private financing. But even if officials can scare up some private financing … the city still expects to implement a gross receipts tax on large businesses and a utilities tax on businesses and federal offices. And D.C.’s tax burden is already higher than average for big cities.