When the Washington Pavilion and Convention Center bond is paid off in 2014 the plan is to use the freed up funds to support the capital costs of the Arena and used as a fall back to cover the future capital and operating costs of the new Event Center.
Back on August 2, 1993, the City Commission adopted a resolution (Resolution No. 257-93) authorizing the issuance of the sales tax revenue bonds for the construction of the Washington Pavilion and the Convention Center. The resolution stipulated that the 3rd penny entertainment tax be used first against the debt and if the 3rd penny entertainment tax revenues were insufficient, the 2nd penny sales tax would be used as a loan to pay the principal, premium and interest of the project bonds. The resolution goes on to state that if the second penny sales tax is used to pay down the debt of the bonds, it shall be considered a loan and must be repaid to the second cent sales tax fund.
This resolution (No. 257-93) was referred by petition of the public and went to a special election vote on October 19, 1993. The Notice of Special Election specifically stated that the bonds will be paid from the net proceeds of the 3rd penny entertainment tax. The 2nd penny sales tax will be used to make payments on the Bonds only if the 3rd penny entertainment tax net revenues are not sufficient. If the 2nd penny sales tax is used for payment of the Bonds, it will be a loan and shall be repaid by the Entertainment Tax. A yes vote meant the action of the City Commission was approved and the Bonds for a Convention Center and Washington Pavilion will be issued. The yes vote prevailed and the bonds were issued and the rest is history.
This now brings us to the present and the mayor's plan to use the freed up money after 2014. Was the 2nd penny sales tax used to repay the Pavilion/Convention Center bonds?
I have it on a very good source that the 2nd penny sales tax was used to pay off a portion of this Pavilion/Convention Center bond debt. According to the 1993 adopted resolution and public vote, that money needs to be repaid before it can be used for the purposes outlined in the mayor's financing plan for the Event Center.
I suppose the city council could pass legislation to forgive the debt but I wonder what the public would think of that, especially since the public voted on how their tax dollars were to be used to pay down the debt of the Washington Pavilion and the Convention Center.