That’s what the San Diego Association of Governments’ chief economist Ray Major wrote in an email when he found out that the agency’s economic forecasts had problems – big ones that overstated how much revenue a sales tax would bring in to fund local transportation projects.
VOSD’s Andrew Keatts finally got a hold of emails that reveal that Major and other top SANDAG officials knew about the faulty economic forecasts almost a year before they put Measure A on the 2016 ballot.
Measure A, you’ll remember, would have raised the sales tax by a half cent. SANDAG officials used that projection to promise San Diego voters it would raise $18 billion and fund all kinds of transportation and open space projects.
But the newly uncovered emails show that SANDAG staffers knew the $18 billion was unrealistic a year ago. Yet instead of informing the agency’s board, or the watchdog group overseeing a previous tax increase, or voters, they plowed forward, misleading the public in the process.
SANDAG’s executive team told Keatts that only when our story about the shortfall came out did they recognize its significance.
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While it is good news that such a revelation has been made, it is somewhat concerning how people are nowadays able get hold of such important emails, especially hackers. So it is necessary that effective steps are taken by service providers such as updating the efficiency of their email verification software or providing better options for end-to-end encryption. This way people will feel much safer about their communications carried out via email.