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Fri June 26, 2009
Cobo deal goes to governor
By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network
LANSING, MI – The Legislature capped months of wrangling over the future of Detroit's Cobo Hall by sending a compromise plan to Governor Granholm. Supporters say the plan is critical to keeping the prestigious North American International Auto show in Michigan.
Supporters say if Cobo isn't upgraded and expanded, the state risks losing the show to New York or Chicago as soon as 2011. The measures would lease the historic venue to a regional authority, which would use liquor and hotel taxes to raise money for the renovation.
Detroit Democrat Bert Johnson says the city and the state can't afford to lose the show, and the millions of tourist dollars it draws.
Johnson says the show brings lots of jobs and will keep property tax dollars in the city of Detroit, and will keep people paying income taxes in the city of Detroit, and contribute to the overall economy.
Now the plan has to be approved by the Detroit City Council, which rejected a similar deal in February. If the city says "no" this time, suburban Oakland County will be given the chance to develop a center to host the auto show.