I knew it. I knew that the most criticism I would get about my idea yesterday to float a miniscule sales tax to decide this Chargers stadium thing once and for all would be from people who say they don’t want to give the team “another bloody penny,” as one guy wrote.
Then vote against it.
That’s the beauty of this proposal. Putting a small sales tax on the ballot that could raise enough money to support construction of the new stadium is an action that both Charger fans and taxpayer skeptics should support.
Why? Because it gives us a chance to decide once and for all how much San Diegans are willing to spend to keep the team here in a new stadium.
And, in response to another common question: Yes, we should ask the whole county to consider the 1 cent tax on every $10 of retail goods purchased. All county residents – not just voters in the city of San Diego – should weigh in on whether they support such a deal. The city of San Diego is in no shape to figure this thing out itself.
If you don’t want to help pay for a new stadium, then this vote would be the chance to say finally “no” to any public subsidies for the Chargers and for their stadium. To pass a new tax in California, supporters have to mount one hell of a campaign. So if you persuade one out of every three of your neighbors, you can kill it and send a message to politicians that you don’t want government money to go to a new stadium.
If you do support construction of a new stadium to keep the team here, then vote for the tax. It’s a small tax. Other states, like Colorado, have done it for their sports teams. Why can’t we?
Hell, be part of the campaign to pass it. Donate money to the cause. Volunteer. Charger fans would be motivated by the fear of losing the team to mobilize and build support. If the vote for the tiny sales tax succeeded, then we could have everything we want: a new stadium without secret meddling and chicanery to pay for it. It’s all above board and transparent.
We will finally have a true referendum on our interest in the football team. We won’t vote on bonds or other types of hidden taxes or drains on government budgets. This would be a vote straight up asking residents one simple question: “Do you like the Chargers enough to spend a few extra bucks to build a new stadium?”
There’s a discussion ongoing at the Readers Forum.