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S.D. Comic-Con's Moving Because of Court Ruling?

By Daniel Taylor, Esq. on August 28, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A decision by the San Diego City Council not to appeal a ruling by the Fourth District Court of Appeals may spell the end of that city's annual hosting of what has become a comic book culture institution: San Diego Comic-Con.

The appeals court decision earlier this month struck down the proposed levying of a special tax on hotel rooms around the San Diego Convention Center, where the yearly event is held, reports The Hollywood Reporter. The city had planned to use the money to expand for a $520 million expansion of the convention center.

Why does this news mean we may be seeing the Los Angeles Comic-Con after the convention's contract with San Diego runs out in 2016?

Expansion Was Key to Extending Comic-Con Contract

The annual, five-day Comic-Con is estimated to bring $180 million dollars a year to San Diego, reports the San Diego Union Tribune. So when other cities began tempting the convention with their larger convention centers San Diego officials convinced Comic-Con to stay put, in large part by agreeing to an expansion of the city's aging convention center.

However, in order to finance the expansion, city officials enacted a somewhat controversial plan. According to the Los Angeles Times, the plan allowed hotel owners to increase taxes on hotel rooms around the convention center without putting it to a vote by the city's voters.

Special Tax Found Invalid

The Fourth Appellate District Court ruled that this tax plan violated the California Constitution, which requires that no special tax will be imposed unless it is submitted to the electorate and approved by a two-thirds vote.

In deciding not to appeal the ruling, the City Council now must now find another way to come up with the money needed to expand the convention center to accommodate the Comic-Con's growing footprint. In the meantime, the Comic-Con may be once again entertaining offers from other cities.

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