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San Diego Business Leaders Launch Campaign To Put Developer Fee On Ballot

Aired 12/26/13 on KPBS News.

San Diego business leaders are taking aim at the linkage fee, a tax charged to land developers to fund new affordable housing for the kinds of workers who build new developments but often can’t afford to live here.

San Diego business leaders are taking aim at the linkage fee, a tax charged to land developers to fund new affordable housing for the kinds of workers who build new developments but often can’t afford to live here.

Despite strong opposition from the business community, City Council narrowly voted to raise the fee in November.

Now business leaders are launching a petition drive to put the tax hike before voters next year.

Sound familiar? That’s because it’s just what happened with the Barrio Logan Community Plan, which many in the business community also opposed.

“Well, I don’t think that there’s any other way to do it,” former San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders said. Sanders now heads the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.

“I think the business community has to stand up and say, ‘This is something that won’t work in terms of job creation, or just in terms of the general economy,’ and that’s what we’ve seen with both these issues,” he said.

Sanders claims the linkage-fee hike will cause developers to invest in cities like Carlsbad or Vista rather than San Diego.

The business community has to collect 34,000 signatures by Jan. 23 in order to get the fee hike on the June 2014 ballot.

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