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Washington state Legislature approves Seattle Arena tax deferral

A measure to give the group building a new arena in Seattle a sales tax deferral now heads to Gov. Inslee for approval.

A bill to give the new Seattle arena and training facility a tax deferral cleared the state legislature.

The Oak View Group (OVG), which is building the new $930 million Arena at Seattle Center, had been seeking the sales tax relief in Olympia since January. There is a significant precedent for the state to give deferrals for new construction.

The measure initially passed the state House in March. It was approved by the Senate on Saturday and then concurred by the House as well. It now goes to Governor Jay Inslee for approval.

Also see | How the new arena at Seattle Center will sound very, very different

Construction is already underway at the arena site with a planned opening of 2021. The NHL Seattle group is also building a new Northgate training facility and headquarters, as part of a massive redevelopment of the Northgate Mall site.

Senators cited the level of private investment as a reason for allowing the sales tax deferment. OVG will pay back the $80-90 million beginning in 2022, through 2030, with interest.

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