RESOLUTION NO. RS2009-791
A resolution expressing the Metropolitan Council’s desire regarding the funding and property acquisition for the construction of the proposed downtown convention center and convention hotel.
WHEREAS, in August 2007, the Metropolitan Council enacted Ordinance No. BL2007-1557 to authorize the collection of four new tourist accommodation taxes to create a funding mechanism for the construction of a new convention center in downtown Nashville; and
WHEREAS, the Metropolitan Council subsequently authorized the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency to commence pre-construction activities associated with the proposed new downtown convention center; and
WHEREAS, as of January 20, 2009, the tourist accommodation taxes have generated in excess of $15 million in revenue, of which $4 million has been spent on pre-construction activities; and
WHEREAS, Ordinance No. BL2009-437, currently pending in the Metropolitan Council, would authorize the acquisition of the property for the construction of the proposed downtown convention center project; and
WHEREAS, the Council is being requested to approve the acquisition of the property for the convention center before a guaranteed maximum price for the convention center has been determined and before the financing mechanism for the construction of the project has been put in place; and
WHEREAS, the Metropolitan Government is currently enduring the most difficult economic situation in recent memory, which has resulted in the Mayor submitting a proposed fiscal year 2010 operating budget containing departmental budget reductions of up to ten percent; and
WHEREAS, given the current state of the economy, which has caused a significant reduction in revenue for the Metropolitan Government as well as the substantial loss of individual taxpayer savings and retirement accounts, it is in the best interest of the taxpayers of Nashville and Davidson County that the proposed convention center be either constructed with no local taxpayer money whatsoever, or that the taxpayers be given the first opportunity to buy the tax exempt bonds as an investment; and
WHEREAS, if the Metropolitan Government is going to build a new convention center, a website should be created that provides information regarding every expenditure on the project to ensure openness and accountability.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT OF NASHVILLE AND DAVIDSON COUNTY:
Section 1. That the Metropolitan County Council hereby goes on record regarding the financing of the proposed downtown convention center and convention hotel as follows:
1. That a guaranteed maximum price for the convention center project be determined and the financing mechanism be approved by the Council prior to actually acquiring any property.
2. That no general fund dollars be used or pledged for the construction of the convention center and the anchor hotel; or, in the alternative, that Davidson County taxpayers be given the first opportunity to buy the bonds in increments of one hundred dollars.
3. That a website be created providing details regarding the amounts of tourist accommodation taxes collected for the convention center project and a line-item description of all project expenditures to provide transparency.
Section 2. The Metropolitan Clerk is directed to send a copy of this Resolution to Mayor Karl Dean, to Finance Director Rich Riebeling, and to MDHA Executive Director Phil Ryan.
Section 3. This Resolution shall take effect from and after its adoption, the welfare of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.
Sponsored by: Eric Crafton
|Referred to:||Budget & Finance Committee
Convention & Tourism Committee
|Introduced:||May 19, 2009|
|Withdrawn:||May 19, 2009|