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.

 

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    Written by Liam Dillon

    Liam Dillon is senior reporter and assistant editor for Voice of San Diego. He leads VOSD’s investigations and writes about how regular people interact with local government. What should he write about next? Please contact him directly at liam.dillon@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.550.5663.

    4 comments
    Geoff Page
    Geoff Page subscribermember

    I think it's time to pull the plug on all of them and put this expansion up to a public vote. Years ago, the public voted down the original convention center three times and the Port had to step in, dip into its overflowing coffers, and pay for the construction. The Port was rich because it owned the airport, which has since been taken from that agency. No one is that rich anymore. This expansion plan looks like the cruise ship terminal sitting there with 50% less business than expected. This Convention Center expansion will be sitting there wondering where all the conventions have gone and we will be paying for it and grousing about it as we bounce over yet another pothole in our streets.

    GeoffPage
    GeoffPage

    I think it's time to pull the plug on all of them and put this expansion up to a public vote. Years ago, the public voted down the original convention center three times and the Port had to step in, dip into its overflowing coffers, and pay for the construction. The Port was rich because it owned the airport, which has since been taken from that agency. No one is that rich anymore. This expansion plan looks like the cruise ship terminal sitting there with 50% less business than expected. This Convention Center expansion will be sitting there wondering where all the conventions have gone and we will be paying for it and grousing about it as we bounce over yet another pothole in our streets.

    Fred Williams
    Fred Williams subscriber

    (At least Emerald and Alvarez voted against this step-by-step strangulation of democracy.)

    Fred_Williams
    Fred_Williams

    (At least Emerald and Alvarez voted against this step-by-step strangulation of democracy.)


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