The group challenging the City Council’s recent vote to raise the affordable housing fee calls it a “jobs tax” but says it supports a host of other tax increases that would accomplish the same goal: paying for subsidized housing.
At least, a majority of the 58 group members supports those tax increases.
But finding out which members support which tax increases is tough since the group never took a formal vote on each item.
In fact, many Jobs Coalition members say the policy alternatives haven’t gone through their formal endorsement processes since so far none has been seriously proposed by city leaders.
The Jobs Coalition is a pretty big group at this point, and includes larger organizations that are often involved in city policy, like the San Diego County Taxpayers Association and the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, and smaller ones that aren’t, like the Filipino American Chamber of Commerce and Sustainability Matters. We’re approaching the larger coalition members to see where they fall on six tax or fee increases. Earlier, we took a closer look at what’s in each proposal in the first place.
The Housing Commission, which runs the city’s subsidized housing programs, for its part has consistently said the fee increase was the only proposal that was realistic.
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Rather than contention with developers placing fees/taxes on their business, here are three positive actions the city council can do unilaterally to boost affordable housing in San Diego.
1. Give unused or underused city owned property to developers for building low cost housing.
2. Do not charge builder fees for low cost housing (permits, plan checks etc).
3. Expedite review and sign off of low cost housing projects (time is money).
The above will directly expedite the building of low cost housing creating a win-win partnership between developers and the city of San Diego. With political “leadership” San Diego could become the affordable housing model for southern California.