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SD Officials: Convention Center Funding Validation Was Always In The Plan

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 hoteliers will vote on whether they want to raise their room taxes to help pay for the $520 million Convention Center expansion.

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

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.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | February 3, 2012 at 11:20 a.m. ― 5 years ago

I'm in favor of expanding the convention center.

It is revenue generator for our city.

Idiots like Papa Doug are going to ruin it by trying to attach it to a stadium plan and his own plans to turn SD Bay into PapaWood.

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Avatar for user 'HankPfeffer'

HankPfeffer | February 4, 2012 at 4:47 p.m. ― 5 years ago

The convention center isn't booked up. How is that going to be fixed?

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Avatar for user 'DonWood'

DonWood | February 6, 2012 at 11:13 a.m. ― 5 years ago

There are good reasons the city attorney has concerns over this proposed new tax. As he says, the state constitution says all new taxes have to be approved by the voters, not just local hotel owners.

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