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Hotel Tax Increase Proposed for Convention Center Expansion

Ballot petitions are now being readied for yet another campaign to expand San Diego’s Convention Center.This time, the hotel tax measure also would bankroll homeless programs, street upgrades and other infrastructure projects. Feline Felony: Kitten Caper Caught by Home Surveillance It’s a citizens initiative that follows on the heels of two separate ballot measures that failed last year, and it has the backing of businesses, organized labor and homelessness advocates.Projected tax revenues? Try $6 billion over 40 years. Community Rallies Around Surfer Girl With Brain Tumor The hotel tax hikes under the measure range from 1.25 percent to 3.25 percent, for hotels in the downtown area.There’s been talk of a sky bridge connecting the center to a facility across the street. Prosecutor: Impostor Doctor Tried to Access Patient Records at Local Hospital Or expanding up to, and even across Harbor Drive.Also, replacing the outdoor driveway and indoor lobby space with exhibit halls and putting meeting space along Harbor Drive between Fifth Avenue and Park Boulevard.The center opened in 1989 and was first expanded in 2001.The initiative’s backers emphasize that hotel taxes are paid by San Diego visitors, not residents.And they don’t expect the higher rates that would be imposed to drive away tourism or convention business.”We represent markets around the country. We know what it is in the hotel tax; we think it’s still very competitive,” says Keith Maddox, deputy trustee of the San Diego & Imperial Counties Labor Council. “And San Diego sells itself. It’s a beautiful city. People want to come here. We have to have world-class facilities to hold on to world-class shows.”Hotel union members have signed an agreement to support a convention center expansion only on the Harbor Drive side, away from the waterfront.That would allow for building a proposed Fifth Avenue Landing Hotel overlooking the bay that would create hundreds more union jobs.Photo Credit: Monica Garske
Source: NBC San Diego

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