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Two-way tax split for halls of fame funding passes Ga. House, but future looks bleak as it heads for Senate

A two-way split to pump money into the sports and music halls of fame in Macon passed through the Georgia House of Representatives on Thursday, but a deal is no further along.

It all comes down to the Senate now. And state Sen. Robert Brown indicated Thursday that he wouldn't sign off on the deal, unless other local entities are included in the split.

Of course, in typical Brown fashion, he indicated his intentions without confirming them. And, at the Georgia General Assembly, nothing is ever dead until the final day.

Still, the new penny tax, to be added to the existing sales tax on hotel-motel stays, would seem to have the same uphill battle it's had for months now. Local legislators found themselves unable to agree on a plan, with state Rep. David Lucas, in particular, pushing for a wider split to benefit at least the Douglass Theatre downtown.

That doesn't have the support it needs from legislative Republicans to move. And Brown, D-Macon, has the power to block the two-way split, which Republicans do support, in the Senate.

He wouldn't say specifically Thursday what splits he would, and wouldn't, support. But he said he would back fellow Demcorat Lucas, and Lucas said he won't support a two-way split.

"If it's not a three-way equal split (including the Douglass), don't worry about it," Lucas said.

"So I think you've got your answer," Brown said.

Asked if that kills the penny tax proposal, Brown would not say.

"I'm not pronouncing anything," he said. "I'm not a coroner."

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