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ONLY ON 3: City says taxpayers don’t need to worry about Convention Center costs

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — With the City of Wilmington talking next year’s budget, we wanted to find out how much it would cost to run the Convention Center and where the money would come from.

“All of the money to fund the Convention Center comes from one of two sources: revenue generated by the center or room occupancy tax monies, which has nothing to do with property tax money whatsoever,” city spokeswoman Malissa Talbert said.

The Convention Center and its funding needs have worried taxpayers in the past, but the city says you have no need to fear. It estimates the total operating cost of the Convention Center to be around $7.3 million. That money is expected to come from more than $5 million of room occupancy tax, $15,000 of parking deck revenue, nearly $600,000 of event income and $1.5 million in concessions and catering.

The event income number increased over this year, because the city says the center is now more established. It expects that number to go up even more when a hotel arrives next door.

Despite all of that, the city says the Convention Center itself is not expected to be the real bread maker.

“What it’s designed to do, and what it is doing, is putting money into the coffers of the businesses of our community,” Talbert said. “That’s why it’s a public building: so it can benefit everyone in the community, not make money for the city per se.”

It cost around $7.6 million to run the Convention Center this year. The city says most of that was covered by an increased amount of room occupancy tax. The city has been saving up that tax since 2003.

More: continued here

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