Colonial Williamsburg asks for tax relief

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WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (AP) -- Colonial Williamsburg is asking its surrounding communities for tax relief as part of an effort to deal with long-running financial challenges.

President and CEO Mitchell Reiss sent letters last week to officials with Williamsburg and James City and York counties.

He's asking that they waive the collection of real estate and personal property taxes for three years, as well as service and business license fees. Reiss also wants a moratorium on new taxes on Colonial Williamsburg, including an admissions tax recently proposed by the city.

Reiss announced last week that the living history museum would outsource many of its commercial operations and lay off some workers. The attraction has seen declining attendance for decades, has hundreds of millions in debt and has leaned too heavily on its endowment.

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