San Diego Business Journal

Council Certifies Results of Hoteliers’ Assessment Vote

By Lou Hirsh Thursday, May 10, 2012

San Diego City Council has certified the results of a recent election by local hoteliers that backed a planned assessment district to finance a proposed expansion of San Diego Convention Center.

Council on May 7 voted 7-1 to formally certify results of April balloting, in which 92 percent of city hotel operators voted yes for the district. Council also authorized the city attorney’s office to make a legal filing with a state court, to determine the legality of the funding plan.

The majority of hotel operators favored creating an assessment district that would generate $35.7 million a year over 30 years, contributing most of the funding for the proposed $520 million expansion. The city would provide $3.5 million annually, with the Port of San Diego providing $3 million annually toward the expansion.

The district plan calls for hotels in the city of San Diego, with at least 30 rooms, to assess an additional tax of 1 to 3 percent on the price of hotel rooms, with the larger percentage to be charged by hotels nearest the downtown convention center.

Opponents including organized labor groups have called for the district to be placed up for a vote by the general public.