In this Sunday’s El Paso Times, former Mayor John Cook says:
But Cook said he is concerned that even combining the convention center and the arena into a single building could prevent it from qualifying for the state rebate program. According to state law, the terms “convention center facilities” and “convention center complex” describe facilities that are primarily used to host conventions and meetings.
Cook said that creates potential complications.
“If they demolish the convention center in order to build a new convention center and arena — technically there’s not a “convention center” within the 1,000 feet,” Cook said.
I know it’s not customary or polite to question any of our elected officials, even those no longer in office, but . . .
If you go to the relevant statute, HB 1964, which amends Sections 351.001(2) and (7), of the Tax Code, to bring El Paso under the umbrella, it reads:
(E) a municipality with a population of 640,000
or more that:
(i) is located on an international border;
(ii) has adopted a capital improvement plan
for the construction or expansion of a convention center facility.
Now I’m pretty sure that building a combined convention center/arena would qualify as a “capital improvement plan for the construction or expansion of a convention center facility.”
Don’t you think?
So, “technically,” I don’t think there needs to be a “convention center” within 1,000 feet, as long as there are plans to build one.
Of course, I’m no lawyer. So I’ve got that going for me.