courtesy Gensler/MLS2ATX

Travis County threatens challenge over MLS stadium taxes

August 21, 2018 - 9:42 pm

AUSTIN (KJCE) -- Before construction has even begun, Austin's future MLS stadium could be in the midst of another potential legal issue - this time, over property taxes.

Last week, the Austin City Council voted to authorize the negotiation and execution of an agreement with Precourt Sports Ventures to build a Major League Soccer stadium - valued at roughly $200 million - on city-owned land at McKalla Place. Now, less than a week later, Travis County Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday afternoon to authorize the County Attorney to "preserve the county's right to challenge the tax-exempt status of the stadium company's use of city property".

The term sheet negotiated between PSV and the City calls for the property to not produce tax revenue - a clause that Travis County is taking issue with. The agreement calls for the City to retain ownership of the land and take ownership of the stadium, once constructed by PSV.

County officials say no one with the City ever reached out during the negotiations with Precourt.

A second measure passed by commissioners also calls for county staff to begin reaching out to the City and other entities within the county with taxing authority, aiming to set "expectations for preserving taxable value in the redevelopment of publicly owned real estate."

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