The Arts & Cultural District

The Arts & Cultural District, approved by the Fredericksburg City Council in January, 2011 establishes incentives for artists and business which support the arts. The purpose of the ordinance is to:

  • Increase awareness and support for the Arts and Culture
  • Provide incentives for the support and creation of Arts and Cultural venues in the district

The District has a geographic boundary, (click here for map) which allows city leaders to focus efforts on site-specific Arts initiatives, such as financial or marketing workshops for artists, promotional events, festivals, public art, guest lectures, etc. With an organized and energized arts community, our city will no doubt thrive.

Old Towne FredericksburgOld Towne Fredericksburg

Arts and cultural businesses

The ordinance recognizes both existing and new businesses that support the Arts. Arts and cultural business is defined as a business or not for profit organization primarily engaged in:

  • arts instruction
  • media arts
  • performing arts
  • performing arts venue
  • visual arts creation or visual arts exhibit

The term includes a museum and an arts office use. The business may engage in related, incidental retail sales.

Expanded business is an existing arts and cultural business which expands physically into new space within the district, to add at least 30% in gross square feet (enclosed or outdoors).

New business is a new business physically located or locating in the district on or after January 1, 2011, which was not actively engaged in the conduct of trade or business in the district prior to the submission of a completed program qualification application.

Financial Incentives-The new ordinance provides license tax reductions and fee waivers to both new and existing businesses, and to special events.

(1) License tax reduction.

  1. A new arts and cultural business is afforded a license tax reduction of 100% for five calendar years for the gross receipts attributable to the new district location, so long as it continues to operate at its new location as an arts and cultural business and remains current in its tax and other financial obligations to the city.
  2. An expanded arts and cultural business is afforded a license tax reduction of 100% of liability attributable to new gross receipts for five years, so long as it continues to operate in its expanded location as an arts and cultural business, and remains current in its tax and other financial obligations to the city.
  3. An existing arts and cultural business is afforded a license tax reduction in the amount of two hundred fifty dollars per year.
  4. Any business located within the district, which is not an arts and cultural business, but which hosts year-round, rotating art exhibits open to the public in the public spaces of the business is afforded a license tax reduction of two hundred fifty dollars per year for each year in which the business qualifies.
  5. Any business claiming a license tax reduction as an arts and cultural business shall nonetheless file a complete license tax application with the Commissioner of Revenue as required by City Code section 70-305.

(2) Waiver of fees.

A new Arts and cultural business, a new special event sponsored by an Arts and Cultural business, and an expanded arts and cultural business is afforded a 100% reduction of planning, zoning, special event, and building permit application fees incurred in the initial establishment of the business, or expansion of the business, in the district.

APPLY FOR INCENTIVES
VIEW THE ORDINANCE
VIEW THE 2016 UPDATE TO THE ORDINANCE