Seattle Rental Car Companies Support Tax to Fund New Arena

A representative for Hertz and Avis says the two rental car companies are willing to submit to a permanent 1 percent rental car tax to help fund a new arena for the Seattle SuperSonics, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports.

The 1 percent rental car tax was levied in 1992 to help pay off debt incurred by renovations on another sports stadium, the Kingdome, which was demolished in 2000. The tax generates an estimated $2 million annually.

The Sonics' new ownership has threatened to move the team to Oklahoma City, where the ownership is based, if the team's KeyArena is not replaced with a state-of-the-art building. The team's lease at KeyArena ends in 2010.

The city of Seattle, however, recently passed Initiative 91, which stops the funding of sports and entertainment arenas with the use of tax-based public subsidies.

The Sonics are currently in preliminary talks with various industries, including the car rental and restaurant industries, to put together an arena-funding package for consideration by the state Legislature, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

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