Ask those who support expanding San Diego’s Convention Center if the City Council has ever voted on a financing package for the $520 million project and you’re more likely to receive a scoff than an answer.
Of course not, they’ll say. And they’ll go onto describe the litany of council approvals for the expansion over the past couple years as minor steps in a long process. Nothing more than that.
But there’s problem with that response, as one council member learned Tuesday afternoon. Once you take enough steps forward, you can’t go back.
The council was locking in Tuesday the tax hike that forces hotel guests to pay for the expansion; it totals about $36 million a year over 30 years.
Another government, the Unified Port of San Diego, already has decided how much it will pay: an average of $2 million a year over that timeframe. That leaves city taxpayers as the only remaining source of money. Their contribution now is pegged at $3.5 million a year, a number supporters justify by pointing to VOSD on Facebook.