By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – So if the Democratic National Committee does, in fact, decide to hold its 2016 convention in Philadelphia, who exactly picks up the tab? Mayor Nutter insists that local taxpayers won’t pay a penny.
Members of the DNC site selection committee came and went last week, and throughout the grand tour, Mayor Nutter repeated not only that the city was up to the task of hosting the convention, but also that it won’t cost local taxpayers a dime:
“We’re not expecting any expense to the city’s general fund. This can only be done with no expense to the city of Philadelphia. We have our own issues and challenges.”
Nutter’s stance is in stark contrast to that of New York City mayor Bill de Blasio, who is also trying to woo the Democrats. He said the Big Apple would likely face about $10 million in local costs, but he said increased tax revenues would make that up.
In Philadelphia, officials say the total cost is expected to be in the $50 million to $75 million dollar range. Nutter says Uncle Sam — meaning federal taxpayers — will pay for security:
“In the past, there’s been a fairly large security grant that comes from the federal government because of all the dignitaries and Congress and potentially the President being in town.”
But the bulk of the cost will come from donors — local and national, individual and corporate. And Nutter believes deep pockets in this region will step up:
“We’ve got a significant financial community that is capable of raising the dollars that necessary to cover all these costs.”
Of course city tax revenues will actually benefit from a convention… with hotel bookings and other spending. That would include the city’s liquor-by-the-drink tax, which benefits the school district:
“I would expect for those four or five days, there will probably be more than a few drinks purchases by delegates.”
The DNC will announce its decision on a site for the 2016 nominating convention by the end of this year.
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