Business Group Gives Its Qualified Support To Proposition D
Monday, September 27, 2010
San Diego City Hall supporters of Proposition D, the proposed half-cent sales tax hike, today announced support from a local business group. The group, called the Citizens' Fiscal Sustainability Task Force, said the City of San Diego is unlikely to be able to solve it’s structural budget deficit without the revenue boost Prop D represents.
SAN DIEGO San Diego City Hall supporters of Proposition D, the proposed half-cent sales tax hike, today announced support from a local business group. The group, called the Citizens' Fiscal Sustainability Task Force, said the City of San Diego is unlikely to be able to solve it’s structural budget deficit without the revenue boost Prop D represents.
The qualified endorsement of the task force represents at least some buy-in from the San Diego business community.
San Diego City Councilman Todd Gloria said the task force report confirms what a majority of the council has been saying about the task of balancing the budget. He said the city cannot solve its fiscal malaise with reforms alone. It also needs new revenues.
“This is what Proposition D is, and that’s why you’re seeing these business folks come forward and saying this actually solves the problem,” said Gloria.
San Diego businessman Vincent Mudd chairs the Citizens Task Force on Sustainability. The task force concluded that San Diego needs to solve a structural deficit of $118 million a year if you include its deficit in retiree health care costs.
The task force support of Proposition D was qualified because it said fiscal reforms, tied to the proposal, will only balance the budget long term if they reduce the city’s operational budget by a guaranteed amount. They said the city council must also enact a spending freeze and a promise to invest half of any budget surplus into infrastructure and one-time expenses.
Gloria said he expects the council to adopt those suggestions and make them policy next week. But Prop D opponent Lani Lutar, with the San Diego County Taxpayers Association, said those provisions are not a part of the Proposition D language voters approve, so they mean very little. She said any council legislation can be revoked or ignored by this or any future city council.
“Which means there are absolutely no guarantees for the taxpayers,” Lutar said.
Under Proposition D there are ten fiscal reform measures the city of San Diego must put in place in order for the half-cent sales tax to take effect. Next week the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce is expected to decide whether they will endorse or oppose Proposition D.
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