ABINGDON, Va. — Washington County's Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved an admissions tax to be collected at a proposed entertainment complex on the Virginia side of The Pinnacle.

Developer Steve Johnson said the tax is “absolutely critical” for helping develop a proposed amphitheater, adventure park and indoor water park just off Gate City Highway (U.S. 58) in Washington County, Virginia.

The supervisors set the tax at 10 percent on tickets sold to those proposed additions to now-undeveloped property owned by Johnson between U.S. 58 and the existing Pinnacle Parkway in Bristol, Tennessee.

The tax would only apply to tickets sold at the water park, amphitheater and adventure park, Johnson said.

“You only pay the tax if you buy a ticket,” said Johnson.

The admissions tax ordinance states, “Development of a certain multi-sports complex and entertainment venue located on all or part of a parcel of land or on adjacent parcels of land containing at least 250 acres is anticipated and, if so developed, would cause added expense to the County for infrastructure development and emergency services to serve such development.”

The board voted 6-1 to pass the admissions tax ordinance, with Supervisor Eddie Copenhaver opposing.

Supervisor Mike Rush spoke in favor of the admissions tax and the development, saying, “We need jobs in this county.”

County Attorney Lucy Phillips said the admissions tax would go into the county’s general fund for the Board of Supervisors to decide its use.

Near the close of Tuesday’s meeting, County Administrator Jason Berry said that the board’s next step would be to talk with Johnson to determine his financial needs for the project.

In other business Tuesday, the board approved a special exemptions permit to allow a “country inn” to be built at The Virginian Golf Club in an area zoned agricultural. The inn is slated to include a kitchen, banquet facilities, common lounge, guest rooms, guest suites and a restaurant.

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jtennis@bristolnews.com | 276-791-0709 | @BHC_Tennis

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