Friday, December 7, 2012
Newly elected City Council President Todd Gloria told KPBS today he did not propose a tax increase to fund infrastructure repairs.
"I did not say that," he said. "In my swearing-in speech, I gave four examples where other communities or other issue areas have tackled this problem. Two were outside of our community: San Antonio and Phoenix. Locally, we've used TransNet and Proposition MM, that's a property tax. Some of those are tax increases, some are not."
"But the fact is, we can't tackle it if we don't have this conversation," he added.
Gloria later stated again there is "no necessity" for a tax increase.
But if there was a proposition for a tax increase, he said it could win voters because it would be very specific.
"We will tell every community in this city what this would mean to them," he said. "I think that kind of certainty has won voter support."
A story in U-T San Diego reported Gloria raised the possibility of a tax increase during his swearing-in speech Monday as a "trial balloon."
The story quoted T.J. Zane, head of the Lincoln Club, as calling the idea “outlandish.”
Gloria said the city is facing at least an $898 million infrastructure backlog, including $478 million for streets, $185 million for facilities and $235 million for storm drains. He said some people estimate those numbers are larger.
The city is spending millions a year now on infrastructure, but it's not enough, he said. He said the city's independent budget analyst said the city will have to spend $30 million more to keep up with road repairs.
Claire Trageser contributed to this report.