Legislation being sponsored by a local lawmaker that would allow for the expansion of the Roswell Convention and Civic Center by way of lodgerâ€™s tax dollars, is slated to be discussed during a House committee today.
Rep. Dennis Kintighâ€™s, R-Roswell, HB433 is on the House Health and Government Affairs Committeeâ€™s agenda. The bill would permit Roswell and other areas of the state to use lodgerâ€™s tax funds to make improvements to its convention center, by expanding the scope of the Convention Center Financing Act to all municipalities. Currently, there are restrictions placed on the size of a municipality.
The act describes a qualified municipality as an area with a population of more than 70,000 and less than 100,000 people. The proposal has the support of local officials, who say the current system gives larger cities a monopoly on attracting people and events to select convention centers. â€œItâ€™s more of an equality value than anything else,â€ said city Councilor Jason Perry, chairman of the cityâ€™s Building and Lands Committee.
â€œIf weâ€™re ever going to compete with those other cities that hold those functions, we need to be held equally.â€ Perry says certain events are prevented from coming to Roswell because the current facility is not able to house 1,500 for an event.
â€œWe have a plan in the making,â€ he said, referring to ways to expand the facility. â€œWe have preliminary drawings of what we would like to see at the convention center.â€ Kintighâ€™s proposal would simply give municipalities the option to expand, it wouldnâ€™t mandate any tax increases.
â€œIt gives the community the option to make the decision on whether or not they want to do this,â€ Kintigh said. â€œIâ€™m hopeful (it will pass), but thereâ€™s no way of knowing until we get to it.â€ The committee meeting is slated to begin at 8:30 a.m. Voters can listen to the proceeddings live on the Legislatureâ€™s website, www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/