Skip to main content

Breaking News: WATCH LIVE: The inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris (Posted 01/20/21 at 8:55 a.m.)

LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Transfer Of Power | Racial Justice

Candidates Spar Over Convention Center Expansion

Audio

Candidates Spar Over Convention Center Expansion

— San Diego’s City Council recently voted to switch convention marketing duties from the public Convention Center board to the private Convention and Visitors Bureau. Critics of the move say it was only done to ensure city hoteliers would vote to increase their room taxes to pay for an expansion of the facility.

Special Feature San Diego Mayor's Race

Special Feature KPBS Election Coverage

Councilman Carl DeMaio voted for the switch. He defended the decision not put the center's third construction project to a public vote.

“Well the last two convention center expansions involved public money through the TOT, the transient occupancy tax,” he said. “Under my Convention Center expansion proposal, the hoteliers will have to take the responsibility for financing the expansion.”

But Congressman Bob Filner criticized DeMaio’s assertion that public money would not be used to pay for the expansion.

“How can you call the vote on the transient occupancy tax not taxpayer funded?” Filner asked in a direct challenge to DeMaio. “It is a public tax and you’ve given the right to vote on that to a private group.”

Hoteliers are currently voting on whether to raise their room taxes. The City Attorney’s office has said it will ask a judge to assess the validity of the funding plan if the hoteliers approve the tax increase.

Election 2020 news coverage

FEATURED PODCAST

San Diego News Now podcast branding

San Diego news; when you want it, where you want it. Get local stories on politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings. Hosted by Anica Colbert and produced by KPBS, San Diego and the Imperial County's NPR and PBS station.

  • Need help keeping up with the news that matters most? Get the day's top news — ranging from local to international — straight to your inbox each weekday morning.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Curious San Diego banner

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.