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City Council Considers Funding Issues For Convention Center Expansion

Aired 12/6/11 on KPBS News.

The debate over whether to expand San Diego’s Convention Center moves to the City Council Tuesday.

The debate over whether to expand San Diego’s Convention Center moves to the City Council Tuesday. There’s great uncertainty about how the expansion would be financed.

An artist's rendering illustrates the plans for expanding the Convention Center, including a five-acre rooftop park.
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Above: An artist's rendering illustrates the plans for expanding the Convention Center, including a five-acre rooftop park.

The council will decide whether to begin establishing a separate taxing district that would allow city hotels to partially fund a Convention Center expansion through higher room taxes. The council will also consider whether to allow the hotels to take out up to $575 million in bonds to pay for the expansion.

City Hoteliers have yet to vote on whether to implement the taxes.

San Diego’s Independent Budget Analyst declined to recommend what action the council should take. In a report, the IBA says there isn’t enough information to make an informed decision on whether the project is financially feasible or what the extent of the city’s financial involvement might be.

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