Special Podcast: The Hotel Room Tax Hike Debate - Voice of San Diego

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Special Podcast: The Hotel Room Tax Hike Debate

At this year’s Politifest, Voice of San Diego’s Scott Lewis moderated a debate on the city’s hotel room tax measure between homeless advocate Michael McConnell and San Diego Convention Center board member Gil Cabrera.

Voice of San Diego’s Scott Lewis (middle) moderates a debate between Michael McConnell (left) and Gil Cabrera (right) about a measure to increase to the city’s hotel room tax. / Photo by Vito Di Stefano

After years of trying, the city of San Diego is inching closer to increasing its hotel room tax.

In 2020, voters will be asked to approve a measure that does that. The money it would generate will fund an expansion of the Convention Center, homeless services and roads.

Supporters have made their case almost exclusively around the need for more funding to fight homelessness but critics say that’s an inadequate side note to the main cause, which is to serve the tourism industry.

At this year’s Politifest, Voice of San Diego’s Scott Lewis moderated a debate about the measure between homeless advocate Michael McConnell and Gil Cabrera, a San Diego Convention Center board member.

Cabrera, who’s in favor of the measure, argued expanding the Convention Center will bring in more business and revenue from tourists who visit San Diego. McConnell, who’s not in favor, said the measure does not guarantee funding for homelessness services.

There’s no guarantee one unit of housing will be built. There is no guarantee $1 would be spent on homelessness,” McConnell said.

Catch up on everything related to Politifest 2019 here.  

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