Posted on February 14, 2011 at 10:40 PM
Monday, Feb 14 at 11:46 PM
SEATTLE – King County Executive Dow Constantine is prepared to ask the state legislature to redirect taxes used to pay off Safeco Field and finance the expansion of the Washington State Convention and Trade Center.
Constantine’s office confirms it is working with members of the State Senate on the bill, which would also finance various arts programs in the county.
The bill, according to senior staffers in Constantine’s office, would not finance another arena or stadium proposal and would be formally presented this week.
Safeco was financed through multiple sources and is set to be paid off later this year.
The Executive is seeking some form of the sales tax credit, lottery sales, food and beverage, car rental and admission taxes in this new proposal.
“There really is a need to expand the convention center,” says CEO John Christison. “It gives an opportunity for the county to invest into something in that it will generate jobs in the county.”
Christison says the planned expansion would go west over Pine Street and over the current bus tunnel. He says it would be a “sister facility,” which would double convention space and allow twice as many shows to occupy the buildings over the course of a calendar year.
Constantine’s proposal wouldn’t necessarily preclude other groups or cities from making a pitch for Safeco’s tax streams.
Multiple lawmakers said Monday night there were other groups with an interest in some of the stadium revenue.