Thursday, March 4, 2010

"Hoteliers" v. Washington State Resolved?

The Substitute House Bill HB 3027 that passed out of the House Finance Committee looks as though it resolves the conflict between the hoteliers and the State of Washington.

Section 8 (e) currently reads:
(e) The execution of an agreement settling all claims in the case of Tourism Alliance, a Washington nonprofit corporation; Craig Schafer; Claridge LLC, a Washington limited liability company; R.C. Hedreen Corporation, a Washington corporation; and on behalf of taxpayers, Andrew Olsen, Amy L. Dee, Christopher M. Dee, Clipper Navigation, Inc., a Washington corporation v. State of Washington and James L. McIntire, in his official capacity as State Treasurer of the State of Washington (f) The payment or provision for payment of all fees, costs, and expenses incurred by the state of Washington and the public nonprofit corporation to effect such transfer; (g) An agreement of the public facilities district to transfer to the state on June 30, 2011, an amount equal to (i) the revenues from the tax imposed under RCW 36.100.040(5) during the state fiscal year ending June 30, 2011, plus (ii) the revenues from the tax imposed under RCW 67.40.130 during the state fiscal year ending June 30, 2011; and (h) The agreement between the state treasurer and the public facilities district, referred to in section 5(6)(c)(i).

Huh? Case was settled, the state is stripping out it's legislative authority and is transferring that power to board made up of representatives from the largest city that has 40% of the county population (currently Seattle), King County, a hotel rep, and eventually a labor rep. That board will have the power and authority for the convention center and its funds going into the future.

This bill has to pass the House, and the Senate, before the state can take back its 2% sales tax credit for the year 2011, as noted in the bill analysis:
The convention and trade center will be transferred to the new PFD when provisions are made for all of the debt and certificate of participation obligations of the state on the convention center to be redeemed, prepaid, or defeased; for the balance in the state convention and trade center operations account, the state convention and trade center account, and other accounts related to the convention center are transferred to the new PFD; for the imposition of lodging taxes by the new PFD; for transfer of the assets and liabilities of the public nonprofit corporation to the new PFD; for the execution of a settlement agreement of the court case related to the conventions center funds; for payment of fees, costs, and expenses related o the transfer; and for payment of an amount to the state equal to the value of the 2 percent sales tax credit for fiscal year 2011.

How much is that 2% for 2011?
(according to the now famous House Finance spreadsheets, here while it lasts, I save stuff like this.)

So, the county gets a new facilities district, the state gets 9.7 million dollars for "fees, costs, and expenses" that they will use to balance the state budget. And, the state ends that 2% tax credit in 2029, or when the current debt is paid off. The rest of this structure, taxing hotels for convention and trade, goes on.

Just so you get that, 2% is a tax credit, that is 9.7 million in 2011, so, what is 5% or 7% forever?
Whatcha gonna do wit all that money?
Looks like the Convention Center will get to expand. The "load in, load out" problem they have will get resolved, more frequent conventions, that will spur more heads in beds, and more beds being built.

Pass this bill, thanks.


Mr Baker said...

HB 2912 is on the list of bills for the Senate Floor today. if passed then the house would have to vote to accept the amended bill.

Peter said...

so it sounds likr if BR is right on SC, then the county will not use any of the funds from 2912. BR says the county will ask for the tourism taxes to be turned over to them to use as they see fit in the future. so if this happens, i actually think it would be better to wait. as you said, the tax would generate more money as the years go on,but would there be enough money for an Brand new arena? in my opinion, getting a team out of the lockout would be better because we could get the relocation approved and the arena built so after the lockout we could have a new team.

Mr Baker said...

There is not enough money from 2912 to build a new arena.
Not only isn't there any interest in the legislature in building a new publicly funded pro sports arena, there is clearly no interest in prescribing a remodel to KeyArena.

The county might have a different opinion, or not.

Peter said...

"Not only isn't there any interest in the legislature in building a new publicly funded pro sports arena, there is clearly no interest in prescribing a remodel to KeyArena."

yeah, but how much of that is because of the current economic situation? i don't think we can rule out the state ever helping if a good proposal comes forward in the near future with a generous offer in a good economy. i think if the economic times were better, the state might do an arena just to make the situation go away. BR is right,it's all about timing.even he didn't expect anything to pass this year. there just isn't alot of support for spending alot of money right now. they are being more cautious with their money now.

"The county might have a different opinion, or not."

i don't think the state or county has interest in buliding an arena NOW. the key word is now. when this recession is over, the economy will probably come roaring back. that's when i expect an arena to happen. if ballmer stays in long enough, i predict they will eventually get something done, probably with some degree of public money.

Mr Baker said...

Ed Murray is trying to get stuff back into 2912 on the Senate Floor.
Rodney Tom is throwing all kinds of amendments on it.

Looks like it could fund part of husky stadium, if it passed, if it were accepted by the House. If if