As you know, I’ve been trying to sell the idea of forcing people around here to decide once and for all how much they’re willing to spend to give the Chargers a brand-new stadium.

The idea seems to be picking up steam. Charger fans are all for it, and the critics are starting to see it as a chance to vote down a public subsidy for the team and avoid all the backroom BS that goes into some of these kinds of mega deals.

Reader BB chimes in with an interesting idea. Mine was to levy a tax of 1 cent on every $10 of retail goods purchased – a mini sales tax similar to what residents in six Colorado counties passed in 1998 in support of their beloved Denver Broncos.

BB says no: “A better tax to increase would be the Hotel Occupancy Tax. It is not paid for by local citizens and would not need a ballot measure.”

That’s not entirely true, of course, as San Diego city leaders know far too well, the people have a right to decide on hotel-room taxes and they tend to shoot them down. San Diego city firefighters and police joined with hoteliers two years ago to get Proposition C passed. But since it earmarked the revenue to certain specific areas, it required two-thirds approval from voters.

Voters gave it a majority but not two-thirds. And that was for public safety. Later, another non-specific hotel-tax increase was on the ballot – proponents claimed it would go to public safety – and it failed to even get a majority.

But the supervisors could try to get a Transient Occupancy Tax increased countywide.. Too bad they’re so bad at it.


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