Public Safety And San Diego's Prop. D
Could a sales tax increase in the city of San Diego help restore budget cuts to public safety? Two councilmen had different answers to that question in a debate Thursday night over Proposition D.
Proposition D would allow the city to increase the sales tax by half a cent for five years. But before the city could collect, it would have to complete a series of fiscal reforms. Proponents of the tax say the revenue generated could help restore cuts to public safety. The online news site voiceofsandiego.org sponsored a debate on the measure between Councilmen Todd Gloria and Kevin Faulconer.
Gloria said the fact that a tax increase is even on the November ballot shows how dire San Diego’s financial situation is.
"You didn’t see it last year when we had to make cuts. You didn’t see it the year before or the year before or the year before. But we’re at the point now where we’re cutting public safety," he said.
Gloria said the mayor and the council have made it clear public safety is their top priority and it's what they'd restore if Proposition D passes.
San Diego is facing a $72 million budget deficit next year if the tax increase is not approved. But councilman Faulconer said there’s no guarantee in the ballot language that the money will go toward public safety.
"If you wanted to say 'x amount of dollars will be spent on police, x amount of dollars will be spent on lifeguards, x amount of dollars will be spent on our firefighters,' that would have been written into the ballot measure," he said.
If the measure said the tax revenue would go toward public safety, it would have needed to be approved by a two-thirds majority. As it’s written, the measure does not say how the money will be spent and it only needs a simple majority vote to pass.