Biggest Taxpayer Boondoggle

CenterStage and the meals tax

Readers' Pick

Before building schools or affordable housing, Richmond’s business elite pushed hard for a performing arts complex that members said would be built with (mostly) private money. But taxpayers kicked in $54 million of the $73.4 million total cost, on the backs of restaurants that were force-fed a 1-percentage-point hike in the meals tax. Has it made a difference? It’s your money: You decide.

Second Place: Justin French

Third Place: SportsQuest

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