Editorial: Welcome to the Hotel Taxpayer - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Editorial: Welcome to the Hotel Taxpayer

(WOIO) -

There's a turkey shortage throughout the country, but it's not hard to find one at the corner of Lakeside and Ontario.

The new Convention Center and Medical Mart was completed ahead of schedule and under budget -- a tremendous accomplishment. And then taxpayers got what should have been good news. $93 million in tax money was left over.

But rather than give that money back, County Executive Ed Fitzgerald got together with Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and concocted a scheme to use that taxpayer money to build a 600 room convention center hotel at a cost of $260 million.

The county raises another $150 million by selling bonds, while the city kicks in $20 million. So a good deal for the city? Not so fast.

Six privately-owned hotels are now being built downtown to go along with the nine already there. In all, there will be 1,300 new hotel rooms.

The county doesn't need to be in the hotel business. And they certainly shouldn't be spending our money to do it. They ought to rebate those savings to taxpayers and let the private sector build the hotels.

Write and let me know what you think. I'm Bill Applegate.

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