We thought we might have a year to breathe after the great Ballot Measure Blizzard of 2016.
We were wrong. San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer this week submitted his official request to the City Council to put up a special election in November. His primary concern is a hotel-room tax increase to fund the expansion of the Convention Center. The bulk of the money would go to that.
However, it’s expected that a much smaller amount would fund road repair and homeless services.
As we discuss in this week’s podcast, this seems dangerous. While the Convention Center and streets effort have clear goals, the homeless funding does not. The mayor and council are playing with fire if they push hard for a tax for homeless services without identifiable goals and an exact plan for what the money would fund.
If the new revenue stream passes, but the city doesn’t make any significant dent in the homeless crisis playing out in the streets, it could poison future discussions on the need for new tax revenue to alleviate the problem.
The mayor is essentially saying: We know we need a tax increase, we’re just not sure what for right now.
We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?
Cripes! Just fix the darn roads.
Sure residents understand the tourist economy here - a tourist town known for the "sparkling waters of Mission Bay and the warm tortillas of Old Town" (don't forget the Zoo).
So if you increase the TOT, use it's revenue increase only to fix things first - yes, really fix (meaning "repair" without the use of $400/hour consultants). Actually develop a stable and "world-class" infrastructure maintenance and oversight program (not another "Enron by the Sea" consultant-driven management team, please). FYI, the convention center isn't broken, doesn't need fixing and only requires regular maintenance for the foreseeable future.
Once this is accomplished, feel free start thinking about this convention center expansion. This should be about two or three recessions away, so plenty of time to get roads and infrastructure repaired.
This looks like another "tax heist" from the republican city administration. The homeless and roads portion are just the salt and pepper on top of the main entre - using tax money for assisting the big wigs downtown. We desperately need our roads fixed up first. Use potential tax money for the people and their roads first. I'm voting "no" for anything else...
Maybe the other Mission Valley developers and the downtown waterfront access advocates can join forces and co-fund a local voter education program.
"Oppose the convention center expansion city tax increase and the Mission Valley land grab", might make a useful theme.