Washington D.C. has moved a step closer to formally returning Major League Baseball to the U.S. capital. The D.C. City Council initially approved Tuesday a debt and tax-backed financing plan to build a new stadium.

Under the proposal, Washington would sell about $500 million in bonds along with an increased stadium sales tax and a new tax on large businesses in the city.

The financing needs final approval by December 31 under Mayor Anthony Williams' agreement with Major League Baseball.

The mayor has said a new stadium would cost about $440 million. But other estimates boost the total by more than $140 million. The league announced in September the Montreal Expos would move to Washington. The team was later renamed the Nationals.