This report examines 52 contracts signed by the Raleigh Convention Center for the period of July–December 2011 and is a follow-up to the September 2008 John Locke Foundation report “The New Raleigh Convention Center: A taxpayer-funded money pit.”
- Raleigh Convention Center (RCC) staff continues to provide favored organizations deep discounts for the use of meeting rooms and convention space.
- For the period of July through December 2011, RCC staff awarded discounts to 40 of 52 organizations, discounts totaling almost $569,000 with the average being 54 percent off the list price of RCC rooms.
- These discounts are similar to those given by RCC staff for the first ten months of operation (September 2008 to June 2009), which totaled $555,000 with the average being 58 percent discount off the list price.
- During the last half of 2011, twelve unlucky organizations were not given discounts but paid the full list price.
- Taxpayers need to be aware that RCC staff have broad discretionary power to award discounts, including granting free use of RCC space.
- Organizations receiving deep discounts are not the only beneficiaries. The taxes that subsidize these discounts unfairly subsidize a very small group of downtown businesses and property owners.
- In addition to the table contained in this report, the JLF created a searchable website that lists the contract and discount amounts for past RCC organizational users. Interested citizens can see for themselves the organizations that received discounts and those that did not.