Thursday, October 7, 2010
A major San Diego business group voted Thursday to endorse the city’s proposed sales tax increase. The group was won over by additional financial reforms recently approved by the city council.
SAN DIEGO A major San Diego business group voted Thursday to endorse the city’s proposed sales tax increase.
The board of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce has voted to back Proposition D. The Chamber’s endorsement comes two weeks after San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, a sales tax supporter, asked for more time to get additional reforms approved by the city council. Those reforms are aimed at eliminating the city’s structural deficit.
Chamber Board Chair Tom Wornham said the group would not have supported Proposition D without those reforms.
“We were able to get more and more in the way of, what we think will be tangible reforms and permanent expense reductions that make sense,” he said.
Wornham said he doesn’t think the Chamber will actively campaign for Proposition D, and he said his group will hold the city accountable and make sure the new reforms they passed get accomplished.
- Yes 43%
- No 56%
221 total votes.
But he said he hasn’t seen another plan that will fix the city’s structural budget deficit. Supporters of the sales tax say the combination of the reforms and the sales tax increase is the only solution for San Diego’s financial problems. They say its failure would require massive budget cuts to public safety.
But other business groups have come out against Proposition D. They say it will hurt businesses already struggling in the bad economy. San Diego Councilman Kevin Faulconer opposes the tax increase. He said realtors, contractors, restaurant owners and taxpayer groups have all come out against the proposition.
“When they’ve taken a look at Proposition D, they’ve said 'no.' So I believe voting no on Proposition D is the best thing for our economy. We do not need to send $100 million of our hard earned money to City Hall,” he said.
Faulconer called the Chamber’s endorsement unfortunate. He said public safety does not have to be cut in order to close the deficit. He said the city can make reforms now to retiree health care and the pension that could address the deficit without requiring higher taxes.