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Citizens Initiative Organizers To Offer In-Depth Look At Convention Center Expansion Plan

Coalition of business, tourism, and homeless leaders gather to announce plan ...

Credit: Matt Hoffman/KPBS

Above: Coalition of business, tourism, and homeless leaders gather to announce plan for a citizens initiative to expand San Diego's downtown convention center, Jan. 8, 2018.

Organizers of an initiative that would raise revenue to expand the downtown convention center and pay for roads and homelessness services will offer a more "in-depth" look at their ballot proposal Tuesday.

Proponents say the measure, which would increase the tax paid by overnight visitors to San Diego, would pump more than $40 billion into the local economy and create nearly 7,000 permanent jobs.

Backers of the measure say it would generate $2 billion for homelessness programs and services, front-loading more than $140 million in the first five years to address the crisis, and would also dedicate more than $600 million for road and infrastructure repair.

RELATED: Citizens Initiative Announced To Expand San Diego Convention Center

Under the initiative, the visitor tax on hotel bills would rise by 1.25 percent for lodging facilities on the periphery of the city and by 3.25 percent for those located in the downtown area.

Officials with Yes! For a Better San Diego will give a presentation on the proposal at 10:30 a.m. at the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. Campaign representatives will hold a question-and-answer session and share their latest projections.

Representatives from Yes! For a Better San Diego who will speak include Michael McDowell, president San Diego Lodging Industry Association; Robert Gleason, chief executive of Evans Hotels; Murtaza Baxamusa, director of planning and development for the San Diego Building Trades Family Housing Corporation; Scott Hernes, general manager of the Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter; and Skip Hull, vice president of CIC Research.

RESEARCH: Mayor Faulconer Focuses On Homelessness, Housing In State Of The City Address

The measure also has the support of Mayor Kevin Faulconer, Father Joe Carroll of Father Joe's Villages, Bob McElroy of the Alpha Project, the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council.

A signature-gathering campaign is underway aimed at getting the measure on the November ballot.

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