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San Diego City Council Takes Up Hotel Tax Hike Revisions

San Diego City Councilman Mark Kersey sits at the dais, Dec. 12, 2016.

Photo by Milan Kovacevic

Above: San Diego City Councilman Mark Kersey sits at the dais, Dec. 12, 2016.

San Diego City Council Takes Up Hotel Tax Hike Revisions

GUEST:

Mark Kersey, councilman, City of San Diego

Transcript

The San Diego City Council on Monday will consider Mayor Kevin Faulconer's revised plan to finance a San Diego Convention Center expansion through hotel tax increases and whether that plan should be placed on the November ballot.

Faulconer has proposed raising hotel taxes by up to 3 percent in some areas of the city to fund a $685 million Convention Center expansion. The measure would allocate 64 percent of the tax revenue toward the expansion, with 18 percent each going towards road repairs and homelessness programs. The tax, which is expected to generate $55 million in revenue its first year, would need at least two-thirds support from voters.

A report from the city's Independent Budget Analyst on Friday noted the measure had been updated after several council members asked for more homelessness funding last month. Now, if there is excess revenue from the Convention Center, the city can redirect that money toward street repairs or homelessness. But the IBA cautioned that is not likely to happen for at least 20 years.

The IBA also recommended that the mayor's office develop a five-year plan on how it plans to spend the street repair and homelessness funds for Council approval.

Faulconer said a special election this year is needed because delays will only increase construction costs. But some council members want to push the vote to next November due to the cost of a special election and a higher expected turnout in 2018.

Council President Pro Tem Mark Kersey joins KPBS Midday Edition to discuss his stance on the proposal and what infrastructure projects the measure could support.

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