6 Reasons Gov. Patrick Should Veto the Convention Center Expansion Bill

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Pioneer Institute’s Research Director, Greg Sullivan, sent a letter today to Governor Patrick asking him to veto the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center expansion bill.

He outlined six reasons why Governor Patrick should do so:

  1. The BCEC expansion will saddle the next administration with hundreds of millions of dollars in deficiencies as a result of Massachusetts Convention Center Authority’s overly optimistic revenue projections.
  2. The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority assumes that hotel tax receipts will increase over the next 30 years at an average annual rate nearly three times greater than the historical growth rate of the statewide hotel tax.  If its rosy projections are wrong, as they have been in the past, the legislation authorizes statewide taxes to be used to cover the annual shortfall.
  3. The expansion legislation will extend the debt service to mid-century, directing billions in tax revenues over the next 30 years to the BCEC.
  4. National convention attendance declined by 1.7% between 2000 and 2011, while the amount of available convention center exhibit hall space ballooned by 35% over the same period.  The result? Bail-outs using hard-earned taxpayer dollars.
  5. The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority has grossly exaggerated its economic impact by including local attendees’ expenditures as “savings”.
  6. The legislation exempts the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority from the public records law in dangerous ways.  The MCCA and its private contractors, vendors, and developers would be allowed to withhold any information they deem to be “commercial or financial information regarding the operation of any business” – a subjective, vague, and overly-broad term that will allow the MCCA to operate in virtual secrecy.

Please read Greg Sullivan’s letter and see for yourself the dangers of a new publicly-subsidized convention center.