Coliseum referendum initiative progressing

Jeremy M. Lazarus | 7/4/2019, 6 a.m.
The plan to replace the Richmond Coliseum remains stalled inside City Hall.

The plan to replace the Richmond Coliseum remains stalled inside City Hall.

But that is not keeping one of its leading critics, Paul Gold- man, from continuing his efforts to put the proposal before Richmond voters in the Nov. 5 general election.

Mr. Goldman, leader of the Put Schools First campaign, an- nounced June 26 that his referendum initiative has signatures of 12,479 registered voters, or 2,000 more than the required 10,400 signatures needed to get it on the ballot.

However, Mr. Goldman said he wants to collect 2,000 more signatures by the July 12 deadline. He said submission of more than 14,000 signatures should be enough to overcome the dis- qualification of some signatures.

His proposal would require the city to put more than half of any new taxes generated by the Coliseum area redevelopment toward new schools construction.

If approved by voters, the ballot proposal would be sent to the General Assembly for approval.

Previously disclosed plans for a new Coliseum indicate that all new taxes to be generated by the ambitious $1.4 billion plan would be used to repay loans to build the proposed 17,500-seat arena.

Current estimates suggest the payments would absorb new tax revenue from the development and the growth in property taxes in a nearby 70-block area of Downtown for 18 years or more.

Mr. Goldman’s plan also would bar Richmond City Council from increasing the meals tax.