What will it take to get the City of San Diego’s finances on solid ground? I mentioned earlier that general tax increases are not a viable option. But there are other alternatives.

The process of “re-engineering” city departments, now taking place under the direction of COO Ronne Froman, could produce as much as $50 million per year in savings, eliminating hundreds of currently funded staff positions. November passage of the mayor’s “managed competition” Charter reform could produce additional tens of millions in annual savings.

The “tourist improvement district” proposed by area hoteliers would produce $25-30 million per year in new revenues for tourism promotion, offsetting a like amount of transient occupancy tax revenue currently drawn from the general fund for the same purpose.

Improving the city’s bottom line by $75-$100 million per year, on top of natural growth in revenues – and assuming prudent management of those resources going forward – could help put San Diego on the road to recovery.

Tom Shepard

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