San Diego Convention Center Expansion Clears First Hurdle

Council approves hotel tax to raise $33 million per year to pay off bonds

The $550 million expansion of the San Diego Convention Center took its first legal step forward Monday, when the San Diego City Council voted to create a special district and tax on local hotels to raise most of the money needed. The plan calls for hotel property owners and hotel operators on leased public land to pay a new tax that would generate between $28 million and $33 million annually toward the approximately $40 million needed each year to pay off 30-year bonds. If two-thirds of the owners approve the plan and other funding sources fall into place, supporters hope the facility can be open by 2016.

(More on San Diego's Convention Center expansion . . . )