Thursday, March 01, 2007

Museum Plaza Passes Major Hurdle

Museum Plaza, the 465 million dollar riverfront skyscraper, passed a major hurdle in the Kentucky House of Representatives today. The House passed a needed tax bill that will allow Museum Plaza to capture a percentage of hotel room taxes that would normally be funneled to programs to promote tourism in the city of Louisville.

Before the tax bill becomes law, it must pass the state Senate and be signed by the governor - but the House passed the bill overwhelmingly and the Senate is expected to simply rubber stamp the bill and Gov. Fletcher has already indicated he would do anything possible to get this building built. This vote came as somewhat of a surprise, as many people expected the vote to be closer, mainly due to the negative coverage that was provided in the Courier-Journal.

The bill faced stiff opposition from state hoteliers, who claimed this bill would set a precedent and allow state hotel tax dollars to be siphoned away from their organizations. However, in the case of this bill, the legislation was limited to a small portion of only Louisville, only affects city hotel taxes, NOT state hotel taxes, and only affects projects over 200 million dollars. Other hoteliers simply do not want to compete with a Westin and want no one taking even a single dollar to which they feel they're entitled.

With this vote, it appears all but certain that Museum Plaza will break ground in late summer or early fall...bring it on.

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