SD Officials: Convention Center Funding Validation Was Always In The Plan
Friday, February 3, 2012
Aired 2/3/12 on KPBS News.
A judge will decide whether San Diego’s method of funding a convention center expansion is legal after the city attorney questioned the plan. But project supporters insist that was always the idea.
SAN DIEGO San Diego hoteliers will vote on whether they want to raise their room taxes to help pay for the $520 million Convention Center expansion.
The taxes would amount to about $35 million a year and would make up the bulk of the project’s funding.
The San Diego City Attorney recently released a statement questioning whether the funding mechanism is valid, since it includes a tax increase that will not be voted on by city voters.
City Councilman Todd Gloria said he was surprised by the city attorney’s release.
“It clarified the city attorney’s position as being more hesitant then I think we all believed him to be,” he said. “But I think we all know we need to go through this validation process to make sure we can actually fund the expansion.”
Mayor Jerry Sanders echoes Gloria’s claim that the plan was always going to be validated in court. In a statement he says now that the council has acted to allow hoteliers to vote on the issue, it's time to hear from the courts.