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Convention Center tax ruled invalid by Court of Appeals

In a decision filed Friday, the California Court of Appeals ruled that the city of San Diego’s election among hoteliers to create a special tax district to fund a proposed Convention Center expansion was invalid.

The ruling reversed and remanded the Superior Court of San Diego County’s take, and puts the Convention Center expansion in jeopardy since this was a large chunk of funding for the project.

The proposed tax would have gathered funds through the Convention Center Facilities District by adding 3 percent of room revenue to hotel owners’ taxes for hotels with more than 30 rooms downtown, 2 percent for hotels in Mission Valley and 1 percent of room revenue for all other hotels in city limits.

“We conclude that the election was invalid under the California Constitution because such landowners and lessees are neither 'qualified electors' of the City …nor do they comprise a proper 'electorate'…” the Fourth Appellate District Court of Appeal decision states.

“We further conclude that the election was invalid under the San Diego City Charter because City Charter section 76.1 requires the approval of two-thirds of the 'qualified electors' voting in an election on a special tax, and section 6 of the City Charter (section 6) defines '[q]ualified [e]lectors' as those persons who are registered to vote in general state elections under state law.”

The decision remands the Convention Center tax issue to trial court, with directions to enter judgment against the city.

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San Diego Convention Center

Company Website

111 West Harbor Dr.
San Diego, CA 92101

San Diego Convention Center Executive(s):

Carol Wallace

  • Chief Executive Officer, President

Tom Mazzocco

  • Chief Operating Officer, Executive Vice President

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