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Seattle arena effort suffers funding setback

Seattle SuperSonicsA Washington State Senate committee approved an extension of sales taxes that helped pay for Safeco Field and Qwest Field, but in a blow to NBA arena advocates slipped in a provision that bars the use of future tax proceeds for a new or renovated arena — or any other sporting facility.

Advocates had eyed the sales taxes as a logical way to fund a future home for an NBA franchise. Instead, the sales tax extension — if approved by the full Senate — will be used for an expansion of the city’s convention center and support for local arts organizations. As it stands right now, monies from the sales taxes will be specifically barred from being used for another sports facility.

The sales tax package includes a 2 percent hotel/motel tax, a 0.5 percent restaurant and bar tax and car-rental taxes.

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