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Fredericksburg officials consider tax-exemption request from Slavery Museum

Date published: 6/25/2008


"The property is set aside for the museum, so nothing else is to be built there," he said. "The sole use of that property will be for the museum."

At last night's meeting, the council granted a roughly $2,000-a-year exemption to New Vision, a transitional home for female ex-offenders.

City staff had recommended against that exemption because the city code says any property used as a dwelling or other "personal use" can't be exempt. Council members said this isn't really a "personal" dwelling, it's institutional housing.

The council also took the second vote necessary to renew a $8,000-a-year exemption for the Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center.

City officials said this application was different from the Slavery Museum's, because the Area Museum is in the middle of construction on its properties.

Before he voted against the Slavery Museum's request, worth $43,000 a year, Councilman Matt Kelly said, "I am looking forward to the day that we grant a full tax-exempt status to an up-and-running National Slavery Museum. As it currently stands, it does not qualify."

Councilwoman Debby Girvan said that even though her term on council ends June 30, she'd like future councils to look into the exemption issue.

"How many tax exemptions can the city afford?" she asked.

Emily Battle: 540/374-5413
Email: ebattle@freelancestar.com

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