One advantage of a government project is you don’t have to know for sure how it’s all going to be paid for. All you have to do is have a plan and even if some of the dollar amounts for the planned funding changes? It’s said to still be all okay, at least that’s the message I took away from reading today’s Blade article on the debt created by building what is now Huntington Center, (link).
What I found interesting is the information shared as to the additional tax that was levied for our area that made it one of the highest in the region:
To pay the tax-exempt debt, officials are keeping a close eye on who’s getting shut-eye in the county’s hotels and motels.
Those bonds and notes are to be paid off with revenues from the hotel/motel tax, which was increased 2 percent in March, 2008, for that very task.
County officials concede that the hotel/motel tax, now 10 percent, is collecting less per year than the $5.2 million anticipated before the recession.
But the $4.1 million projected for 2010 is still enough to do the job, because $3.7 million is about the bare minimum needed to make the debt payments, the officials said.
The history of Lucas County and lodging taxes from the Ohio Department of Taxation which was increased before 2008 (link):
The county first enacted a special levy of 3 percent for convention center construction during a July 15, 1985 to Oct. 15, 1985 window permitted by the legislature. In 1997, Lucas County was permitted to enact an additional 2 percent for the county convention and visitors bureau in promoting the region, and it did so. In 2006, Lucas County was permitted to enact an additional 2 percent for purposes including construction of a new arena, and it did so.
A Blade article from March of 2008 reports, (link):
Last year,  the county’s 10 percent tax on rooms brought in $5.1 million, which was a third more than five years earlier. Collections were boosted by a 2 percentage-point increase in March to pay for a new downtown sports complex. Wood County lacks a countywide hotel/motel tax.
From the Lucas County budget ending December 31, 2009 how the arena will be paid for as well as how many events were then projected (link):
Lucas County’s signature project, a multi-purpose arena in downtown Toledo, held its public open house on October 3rd and 4th, 2009 and hosted over 10,000 citizens during the two day event. The arena is located within one block of Fifth Third Field, the highly successful minor league ballpark for which the arena project is modeled after. Since opening its doors, the arena has hosted over 40 events during the last three months of 2009, and is scheduled to host approximately 100 events in its first full year of operation. The $100 million dollar arena project was completed $5 million under the estimated costs. The project is funded with a combination of hotel/motel tax collections and net revenues from the ECHL hockey Team, the Toledo Walleye.
From Blade article of today:
Steve Miller, general manager for the arena’s management company, SMG, said the county can expect extra revenue from Huntington Center this year because of strong ticket sales. The arena was budgeted for 87 events in 2010 and has had 62 already, including concerts by Elton John and Carrie Underwood.
This suggests that the number of events expected has met predictions.