The Morning Report
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Solana Beach voters passed a hotel-tax increase that boosted the room surcharges from 10 percent to 13 percent Tuesday in an effort to raise the cash needed to replenish sand at the seaside city’s beaches.

Needing two-thirds approval, the tax increase garnered nearly 68 percent of the vote from sand-loving Solanans.

The surcharge is almost entirely paid for by visitors, which makes it more appealing to voters who are less likely to ever have to pay it.

But for San Diegans, that hasn’t always made the so-called transient occupancy tax attractive.

In the city of San Diego, voters twice turned down a hotel-tax increase that was billed as a fundraiser for fire protection within the city. Both measures were presented within a year’s span of the 2003 Cedar fires, when fire officers lamented the lack of funding to build needed fire stations, upgrade an aging communication system and improve staffing levels.

National City passed a one-cent sales tax hike Tuesday by a 58-to-42 margin, seven months after a similar initiative was defeated. The city of San Diego largely balked at that kind of talk when they cast votes against Donna Frye’s mayoral campaign last year after the councilwoman proposed raising the sales tax by a half cent.

Mayor Jerry Sanders, who bested Frye, pledged to not raise taxes. Instead he convinced voters that the city’s fiscal woes could be remedied through budget cuts, reorganizing the city’s workforce and thorough audits of the city’s operations.

EVAN McLAUGHLIN

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