With a tight plan for public FC Cincinnati stadium funding, there’s a new debate over what happens should proceeds from a local hotel tax come up short.
A key part of the FC Cincinnati stadium funding plan was $34.8 million in tax incentives, with $17 million of that via revenue generated from the local hotel tax. That money was approved by the City Council, but it wasn’t really the City Council’s money to give: the local hotel tax is administered by the city Convention Facilities Authority, which uses part of those proceeds to fund debt and maintenance on the Duke Energy Convention Center. That’s not necessarily an issue as of now: hotel-tax revenue has been increasing, generating more than enough to cover $1.3 million in annual debt payment and additional maintenance.
But if hotel tax revenues decline, Convention Facilities Authority members question how the shortfalls will be addressed by the city. Without assurances from the city, the Convention Facilities Authority has not authorized the tax incentives–and with construction on the stadium now underway, plenty of folks are nervous about an impasse. From Cincinnati.com:
And now, as it comes time for FC Cincinnati to start spending the money, it’s pitting the FC Cincinnati’s privately funded $250 million stadium in the West End against the needs of the suburban convention center.
Stadium construction is underway, but some issues have caused delays and team lawyers have publicly said they’re worried about the project being completed by the March 2021 deadline.
Team officials could not be reached for comment, but they’ve said in the past the incentives are key to building the stadium.
The issue is expected to be addressed by the Convention Facilities Authority on Tuesday.
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