Saturday, January 30, 2010

Remarkably Sparse

Mr. Hunter,
Though this bill [HB 3027] in its current form is remarkably sparse, I do have the strangest feeling that I will support its eventual contents. It appears that there is a broad group of sponsors appearing on a series of bills having to do with hotel taxes. Good luck recovering the state's tax credit, and moving this ball forward.

Mike Baker
Seattle, WA
[edited with an update below]

Ok, maybe I am losing my mind, or not, but the Senate companion bill to HB 3027 is SB 6684. That bill is just as sparse, and is scheduled for Executive Session on Monday, 2/1/2010. Stay with me here, are they going to bother to have a hearing, take testimony, and, ah, put some actual text in the bill before they vote on it in Executive Session?

Feb 1  Scheduled for executive session in the Senate Committee on Economic Development and Trade & Innovation at 1:30 PM. (Subject to change)

Mmmm, let's hope they at least go through the motions.
I am wanting to know what happens to the Washington State Convention Center (they dropped "Trade" from their name last week).

[2/2/2010 edit]
SB 6684 was sent to Rules Committee, no update to the bill text. Poof!

[2/2/2010 edit]
SB 6684 was referred to Senate Ways & Means Committee, still empty, still waiting for the negotiations to spell out what will end up in this bill.

What's the big rush?

[2/3/2010 edit 2]
And then SB 6684 was set to the side, SB 6118, last year's Senate Convention Center bill, was scheduled for a public hearing in the Senate Ways & Means Committee tomorrow. There is an amendment and table in the House Finance Committee electronic book.

Looks like the Convention Center will expand, after some fancy book keeping.

[2/4/2010 edit, last edit]
It looks like the "city" will, indeed, be able to apply a 2% tax on hotels, according to new Section 3 of the amended SB 6118.
Wow! So, it looks like the state takes back its tax credit, give Seattle the authority to apply and collect 2% the state was collecting. The city becomes the tax funding authority for the Convention Center expansion. It looks like we will have another Convention Center, as soon as this bill passes and the state avoids court action.