Screw the Public!

After voters twice denied the Greater Boise Auditorium District bonding authority for a new convention center, the board agreed Friday to take a lesson from Boise City and do an end run around those pesky voters.
Boise Grove.jpg

The deal calls for developer Gary Christensen to pay one dollar to lease valuable public land at 13th and Front, build a “private” convention center with no public input (because it is private) and then lease the package back to the Auditorium District for about $2 million a year.

The GUARDIAN thinks if the deal is so sweet Mr. Christensen should take all the risk and receive all the benefit–it is simply wrong to spend our public money on his private deal.

Here is another dirty little secret: taxes on his $25 million PRIVATE building should be about $460,000 a year and all but the schools portion would go to the urban renewal agency and nothing to the City.

The widow living on the Bench and the family in the North End have to pay for police, fire, and other city services in the Downtown area. No taxes are paid to Boise City on any of the IMPROVEMENTS in the urban renewal district –it all goes to fund (CCDC) the urban renewal district.

The Auditorium District owns the existing Center on the Grove and it is funded by a 4% hotel room tax. The tax is aimed at promoting tourism in Boise and the surrounding area. In every respect it is PUBLIC MONEY. The land for the proposed scam is PUBLIC LAND. The board members are elected PUBLIC officials.

Last year when voters rejected the proposed convention center a second time, a spokesman for the District vowed that a convention center would be built, “one way or the other.” So much for honoring the will of the people.

The only proper expenditure of the $ 2 million hotel room tax is to lessen the financial burden of police, fire, roads, parking, sewer etc. placed upon the city taxpayers by visitors–WE should get the 4%!

Comments & Discussion

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  1. This isn’t specific to just Boise. Portland voters also voted down a convention center expansion, and surprise, surprise, they went ahead with it anyway, funding it by raising the hotel tax and other fees.
    I wouldn’t even have a big problem with this, as long as Christensen’s convention center took absolutely NO money from the general taxes, but alas, that doesn’t appear to be the case.

  2. A convention center in Boise is a bad idea because of the reason that LasVegas NV is such a great convention city. We don’t have what LasVegas gots.

    Conventioneers want a lot of full on nude strip clubs and live sex show acts. XXX cable in all hotel rooms.

    Dozens of escort service choices.

    Cheap food and liquor.

    Lots of taxi service for immediate door to door transportation.

    Live entertainment shows. Sorry the BOdo multi plex theater won’t cut it.

    Entertainment for the family.

    Huge semi-trailer trucks need to have a way to load and unload requiring a good size marshalling yard for city centered convention centers.

    The amount of trash generated by conventions is monumental. Everything gets thrown away. You need lots of dumpsters and lots of garbage trucks to move the trash out of town. If you dont believe me, wander around back and check out the amount of disgusting trash at a food show.

    The price of fuel and airline costs is causes businesses to think twice about sending staff and exhibits to future conventions not to mention attendees especially in a town as isolated as Boise.

    Revenues in the convention business continue to trend downward. In times of economic uncertainty, corporations usually cut tradeshows and convention budgets first in their marketing programs. The expense of conventions continues to go up and there is no accurate way to measure results.

    Thanks for reading my rant. 20yrs + in the trade show and convention business.


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