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State Budget Proposal To Fund Dayton Convention Center Gets Pushback

Miami Township officials say they’re not happy with a provision in Ohio House Bill 166, the proposed operating budget for the state through 2021. 

The township is taking issue with a provision in the proposed budget that would increase taxes for all Montgomery County lodging facilities, including those in Miami Twp.

Included in the proposed state budget, set for a July 17 vote, is a possible 3 percent lodging tax that would provide funds for continued operation of the Dayton Convention Center. The proposal would also establish a so-called Convention Facilities Authority that would have oversight of the downtown Dayton complex.

Miami Township Administrator, Ronald L. Hess, issued a statement Tuesday saying the tax increase would create "an added burden to the hospitality enterprises found in Miami Township and throughout Montgomery County." He also stated the tax "puts the growth of Austin Landing at increased risk with no added benefit."

The tax hike was one of several proposals recommended by the Dayton Convention Center Task Force late in 2018. The taskforce was formed to evaluate the convention center’s "financial viability and development potential."

Several township trustees say they weren’t told of the proposal in the budget and expressed their dissatisfaction with the City of Dayton to other media outlets.

Hess’ statement says those comments were the personal opinions of those trustees and were not the official position of Miami Township.

If the Convention Facilities Authority is part of the approved state budget, Hess says he hopes Miami Twp. will be among the group’s decision makers.

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