Supporters of Proposition D have have touted their broad coalition, saying the ballot measure is the solution to the city of San Diego’s financial problems. You have Republican Mayor Jerry Sanders, business leaders such as the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce and union leaders such as the San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council all backing Prop. D’s tax increase and financial reforms.
Friday, those same interests came together to promote another major effort: the sudden state deal to extend the life of downtown redevelopment. The law removes the major hurdle preventing the city from having the means to finance a new Chargers stadium. And, proponents say, it creates jobs.
Under redevelopment, the city captures a larger share of the taxes that would’ve flowed to the county government and school district in order to invest it back into a blighted neighborhood and subsidize development.
But for such a significant issue, the deal was done in stunning secrecy. It was proposed in the midst of Thursday’s all-night budget negotiations, attached to a budget provision that had been crafted to protect rural farmland from development. It passed the Legislature on Friday. Shocked opponents criticized the measure as corporate welfare for the Chargers.
So never mind that Sanders had promised a transparent process to decide if lifting the cap would benefit the city. Or that now the city has agreed essentially to divert money from its day-to-day operating budget to pay for a Chargers stadium. This news, of course, comes at a time when they’re all trying to convince the public the city is so cash poor, it needs to raise taxes to keep from laying off police officers and firefighters.