Liz Swain 4:24 p.m., May 24
Judge Prager OKs convention center expansion tax
Ruling tentative; San Diego's plan was based on one used in San Jose
Judge Ronald Prager of Superior Court ruled today (March 11) that the scheme concocted to evade a citizen vote on the tax assessment for the $520 million Convention Center expansion meets legal requirements. San Diego voters had twice turned down increases in the transient occupancy tax (TOT), so convention boosters adopted a plan that had been successful in San Jose. I have not been able to reach the plaintiffs in the suit to see if they plan an appeal. The expansion still faces a hearing before the Coastal Commission.
The San Diego Chargers have opposed the scheme, hoping to put forward a plan that would combine a football stadium and convention center space, even though such combinations have not worked well in cities that have tried them.