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Task Force Proposes Conditions On Prop D

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Video published October 1, 2010 | Download MP4 | View transcript

Above: Voters in the city of san diego have a proposition on the november ballot which promises to bring in an extra $100 million dollars to the deficit-ridden general fund by raising the city sales tax by half a cent. Before the sales tax can go into effect, 10 conditions have to be met. According to a citizens budget task force, those conditions need more teeth. With me to explain the recommended changes is the task force's chairman, Vince Mudd.

Voters in the City of San Diego have a proposition on the November ballot which promises to bring in an extra $100 million to the deficit-ridden general fund by raising the city sales tax by half a cent.

Transcript

This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

VOTERS IN THE CITY OF SAN DIEGO HAVE A PROPOSITION ON THE NOVEMBER BALLOT WHICH PROMISES TO BRING IN AN EXTRA $100 MILLION TO THE DEFICIT-RIDDEN GENERAL FUND BY RAISING THE CITY SALES TAX BY .50 CENTS. ACCORDING TO A CITIZENS TASK FORCE, THOSE NEED MORE TEETH. WITH ME IS THE TASK FORCE CHAIRMAN VINCE MUDD. HOW DOES THE TASK FORCE WANT TO REVISE THE CONDITIONS BEFORE THE SALES TAX CAN GO INTO EFFECT?

THE SALES TAX SHOULD HAVE BEEN ENOUGH MONEY TO RESOLVE THE BUDGET DEFICIT. THAT IS $73 MILLION. HOWEVER, THE TRUE DEFICIT FOR THE CITY OF SAN DIEGO IS $118 MILLION. THEY ARE NOT CURRENTLY FUNDING RETIREE HEALTH. THEY SHOULD. THEY KNOW IT IS AN EXPENSE. THE NUMBERS OF $118 MILLION IS THE STRUCTURAL BUDGET DEFICIT.

HOW DOES THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY COME UP WITH A DIFFERENT TAKE ON HOW MUCH MONEY IS THE DEFICIT COMPARED TO THE STATE.

I DON'T THINK THEY DID THE SAME ANALYSIS. WE FIGURED OUT OVER THE NEXT FIVE YEARS HOW MUCH MONEY YOU NEED TO BALANCE YOUR STRUCTURAL BUDGET DEFICIT. OVER THAT FIVE-YEAR PERIOD, THEY NEED $900 MILLION MORE THAN IN THE BUDGET. THE SALES TAX BRINGS IN $550 MILLION. THAT LEAVES YOU WITH A DEFICIT OF $350 MILLION. IF YOU DIVIDE THAT DEFICIT BY $350 MILLION, IT MEANS YOUR REFORMS HAVE TO SAVE YOU AN ADDITIONAL $73 MILLION IN EXPENSES FOR THE FIVE-YEAR PERIOD.

AN AVERAGE OF $72 MILLION. A TOTAL OF $550 MILLION.

$350 MILLION.

THESE NUMBERS ARE BIG. THAT IS A BIG DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WHAT THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL ARE ASKING FOR AND WHAT THE TASK FORCE HAS COME UP WITH. ARE THEY EMBRACING THOSE CHANGES?

IT LOOKS LIKE THEY HAVE LOOKED AT ANALYSIS. WE HAVE FINANCIAL ANALYSIS. WE ARE USING THEIR NUMBERS AND THE NUMBERS THAT ARE PUBLICLY AVAILABLE. IT LOOKS LIKE THEY REALIZED THAT WE DO NEED $900 MILLION. WE UNDERSTAND THAT WE HAVE A SALES TAX INCREASE WE ARE TALKING ABOUT. NOW WE HAVE TO IDENTIFY $73 MILLION IN COST REDUCTIONS. AT LEAST THEY HAVE A VALUE TARGET OF THE REFORMS.

DOES THAT $73 MILLION THAT HAS TO BE REDUCED, ARE YOU SAYING THAT HAS TO BE REDUCED BEFORE WE GO INTO THE POLLING BOOTHS IN NOVEMBER AND VOTE ON THIS THING?

WE HAVE TO IDENTIFY A PLAN THAT SHOWS HOW THEY WILL REDUCE THE $73 MILLION. PROP D AS WRITTEN PROVIDES ASSURANCE THAT THERE IS A TAX INCREASE, BUT NOT AN --NOT ASSURANCE OF THE REFORMS.

I THOUGHT THERE THERE WAS 1 OF 10 CONDITIONS.

ONE SAYS REDUCE, BUT NOT BY HOW MUCH. YOU CANNOT HONESTLY TELL YOURSELF DO I KNOW FOR A FACT THAT THIS REDUCE WILL GET TO THE STRUCTURAL DEFICIT. PROP D DOESN'T DO IT FOR YOU. THERE HAS TO BE ADDITIONAL ACTION BY THE CITY COUNCIL. THE CITY COUNCIL CAN ACT TO PROVIDE MORE SURETY ON THE VALUE OF THE REFORMS. YOU CANNOT CHANGE THE BALLOT LANGUAGE, BUT THEY CAN HAVE ADDITIONAL COUNCIL ACTION.

IS THERE A DEADLINE BY WHICH THEY PROVIDE THE SURETY?

WE SUGGESTED THE DEADLINE IS BEFORE THE ABSENTEE BALLOTS GO OUT. THE PUBLIC NEEDS TO KNOW THEY HAVE A PLAN. THE CURRENT LANGUAGE OF PROP D IS NOT REASSURING TO THE PUBLIC. THEY NEED TO SHOW BY THEIR ACTIONS AND NOT WORDS THAT THEY WILL ELIMINATE THE STRUCTURE DEFICIT.

IF THEY DON'T COME UP WITH THE PLAN BY THE TIME THAT THE ABSENTEE BALLOTS GO OUT, WILL THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY NOT SUPPORT PROP D?

I CANNOT SPEAK FOR THE ENTIRE BUSINESS COMMUNITY. AS PROP D IS WRITTEN RIGHT NOW, MANY WILL NOT SUPPORT IT. IF THEY OCCUR IN ACTUAL DEEDS, SOMETHING THAT IS CODIFIED AND IT FIXES THE STRUCTURAL BUDGET DEFICIT, INTEREST WILL BE PEOPLE IN THE COMMUNITY THAT WILL SUPPORT IT.

THANK YOU, VINCE.

THANK YOU.

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