The city’s hotel owners voted in near lockstep yesterday to increase the hotel-room tax. Only 8 percent of ballots came back opposed to the move that would generate more than $30 million a year for the next 30 years to fund the expansion of the San Diego Convention Center.
Cue the music, because the legal showdown is about to begin.
The vote is the biggest stride yet in an unprecedented innovation to sidestep the law that requires a vote of the people to increase taxes.
“From Day One, we’ve said, ‘Hey, there’s a Proposition 13 issue here,'” City Attorney Jan Goldsmith told KPBS in February. Now, he plans to test the legality of the tax hike in court. Organized labor groups oppose the deal. The Chargers also have claimed it’s illegal.
Last week, Councilman Carl DeMaio echoed other supporters of the tax saying it was actually a “private investment of hoteliers” and therefore the people of San Diego shouldn’t vote of the proposal. It’s a position we debunked in a Fact Check.