Patrick Signs $1B Convention Center Upgrade Bill

BOSTON (AP) — Gov. Deval Patrick has signed a bill authorizing a $1 billion expansion of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

Patrick said the expansion will increase jobs and help welcome more visitors to the state. He signed the bill Tuesday at the Statehouse.

Supporters say the upgrade will increase the center’s operating space by more than 50 percent and help Boston compete for the world’s largest and most lucrative conventions.

The legislation authorizes the state to borrow to finance the approximately 1.3 million-square-foot expansion of the convention center in the city’s South Boston neighborhood.

The bonds would be repaid through proceeds from the state’s existing 5.7 percent tax on hotel rooms, with no new taxes envisioned. If the state falls short, the measure would allow the hotel room tax to be raised in the Boston area.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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