CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Charleston city officials say the effort to raise money for renovations at the Charleston Civic Center is moving along slightly ahead of schedule.

The revenues are generated through two different taxes; a special .5 percent sales tax and a TIFF tax on property in a designated downtown zone are earmarked for the project.

Through five months the TIFF collections produced $215,000. The sales tax collections through five months generated $2.8 million.

“That’s slightly ahead of what I had anticipated,” said Charleston Finance Director Joe Estep. “The first collection came in and because of the timing it was for two months and it was a million dollars.  The second one cover December, January, and February and it was 1.8 million.”

The second collection of the sales tax included the always lucrative Christmas shopping season.

Estep estimated the taxes would generate about $5.7 million annually. He says the rate so far is slightly ahead of that. The difference may be in the state’s fee for the collection service. Currently, the state Tax Department keeps one percent of the collection, but by law they could keep up to five percent. Estep said his original estimate was based on the five percent deduction.

The first expenditures on the project were recently dispensed.

O’Dell Associates, a firm hired to help with the design and search for a contractor on the job, was paid $65,000.  City officials have roughly estimated the cost of the Civic Center renovation project will be around $50 million.

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  • Aaron

    They need a new parking garage.

  • Joe

    Its not really the arena per se thats getting renovated although I think the 13,000 seat coliseum is getting new HVAC and maybe some restroom improvements. The bulk of the funds are going towards new convention facilities...ballrooms...meeting facilities etc. Many groups have not booked the center not because of lack of seating, but because of lack of convention space.....ballrooms......etc

  • Gary Karstens

    As much griping and silly criticisms we read on Danny Jones on this site, he always seems to get a job done the quality way. He has found a way to raise revenues for the city, and these revenues will be used in a productive way.

    I wish him success in banning these murderous and cruel weapons that are causing havoc in his city.

    • Larry

      I agree, I hope he gets these murderous, cruel weapons banned too, and by murderous, cruel weapons I mean the unscrupulous, evil, underhanded, immoral criminals shooting the guns, not the guns themselves.

    • Lowlander

      Yes, because once they are banned, no one could be murderous or cause havoc...because it would be illegal. And we all know that once it's illegal, it won't happen.

      Wait a minute....isn't it illegal to kill someone???

  • Larry

    That's hard to believe, guess the water episode wasn't nearly as costly to the city as the mayor said it was.

  • Cooter

    Wait, what? They want to spend $50 million to renovate the civic center? I bet you could build a brand new civic center for that kind of money.

    • richard

      i doubt that. cost way more than that for a new civic center. 50 mil. could do a lot with the building now.