In a move that didn’t catch much of anyone by surprise, the San Diego County Taxpayers Association’s Board of Directors overwhelmingly voted to oppose Proposition D, the City of San Diego’s half-cent sales tax increase which will come before San Diego voters on the November 3, 2010 ballot.
Proposition D imposes a half-cent sales tax increase on all eligible purchases within the City of San Diego if city officials meet certain conditions. It is estimated to raise $103 million in funding annually.
Lani Lutar, President & CEO of the Association, said SDCTA’s board cited the following reasons for its opposition to Proposition D:
- Prop D does NOT include the real fiscal reforms taxpayers deserve to end millions in wasteful spending each year in the city’s budget.
- Prop D lists several weak and meaningless conditions that do not guarantee significant savings to taxpayers.
- The measure does not require the City begin the competing of City services as mandated by voters in 2006 with the passage of Proposition C.
- The option of cuts in public safety or approving tax increases is a false choice that is being presented to voters.
- Nothing in Prop D ensures the tax dollars raised will pay for essential services such as police, fire and lifeguard protection. Politicians can spend the new taxes any way they want, including on employee salary increases and pension costs.
“The San Diego County Taxpayers Association insists on comprehensive, meaningful and clearly measureable reform that results in significant savings for taxpayers. Proposition D does not come close to meeting this criteria in any way, shape or form,” said Lutar. “Instead, it hands over a blank check to elected officials whose track record of reform to date is sorely lacking at best.”
“Our board represents a variety of community interests including business, healthcare, the building industry, nonprofits and professional services throughout the City. They see that our economy would be hurt by this measure just as it is starting to recover,” added Lutar. “This translates to a burden on working families already struggling to make ends meet.”
“The bottom line is this: Prop D gives city politicians a blank check with no guarantees on how tax dollars should be spent, no protections for taxpayers, and worst of all no comprehensive fix for the pension crisis that got us here in the first place,” said Lutar. “The Association’s board of directors sees through the weak reforms and meaningless promises of Prop D,” said Lutar.
As a voter, what ticks me off most is that the City of San Diego is STILL futzing around with managed competition. You’d think that requiring implementation of something the voters ALREADY MANDATED their elected representatives to do four years ago with the passage of Prop C would be a no brainer. They could take credit for something they were already supposed to have done. But no, the City is still hedging, promising only to discuss managed competition. Prop D sets no actual benchmarks for achieving cost savings through managed competition. Oy vey.