Listen

Read

Watch

Schedules

Programs

Events

Give

Account

Donation Heart Ribbon

Vista Cuts Ribbon On New Civic Center

Audio

Aired 6/29/10

Vista leaders will invite the public to the city’s new civic center Tuesday. The building is one of six projects the city is paying for with a sales tax increase.

Vista leaders will invite the public to the city’s new civic center Tuesday. The building is one of six projects the city is paying for with a sales tax increase.

Vista officials may have pre-recession optimism to thank for the building that replaces a city hall they say was crumbling around them.

The Civic Center's construction was funded by a half-percent sales tax increase that voters approved as Proposition L in 2006. The increase also funded two new fire stations and the firefighters to man them.

The tax increase hasn’t saved the city from other budget woes. Earlier this year Vista laid off 19 workers and canceled construction projects. Mayor Morris Vance says he isn’t certain voters would have supported the spending in the current economic climate.

“Would they have done it now? I hope they would have. But, the economy is a problem for everybody and sometimes when you’re out of work you don’t want to vote for an additional sales tax,” he said.

Chula Vista voters rejected a similar tax increase earlier this year that was proposed to close that city’s budget gap.

Proposition L won't be delivering Vista residents all it was intended to, though. The tax increase was not only supposed to pay for the civic center, two new fire stations, refurbishing a third fire station, a sports park, and improvements to the city's outdoor amphitheater. It was also supposed to cover the cost of hiring more firefighters and police.

But, revenues from the additional tax have dropped every year since 2007. The increase is currently paying for new firefighters but no police. By 2015 city officials project Proposition L funds won’t cover the added salaries.

“Hopefully the economy will be back in five years and our sales tax amount will have risen to their previous levels," Vance said. "So, we’re okay for the next five years.”

Forgot your password?