Plans Unveiled to Expand Boston Convention Center

The five-year-old Boston Convention & Exhibition Center already is looking to expand. The plan, announced Monday by Gov. Deval L. Patrick, Boston's Mayor Thomas M. Menino and James E. Rooney of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, is the start of a long-term initiative to increase the city's share of the meetings market. "We are trying to build a consensus before going forward," said a spokesperson for the MCCA. A "convention partnership" committee of 25 public officials and private individuals will study the proposal, including whether to build a new hotel; their report is due Dec. 31, 2010. To pay for the project, the city might raise the hotel tax again, according to the Boston Globe. Boston's occupancy tax rose 2 percentage points in September, to 14.45 percent.