Aguirre’s presentation today is expected to drop a few bombshells. If there was one piece of advice I could give him, it would be to evaluate the entire revenue structure of the city. To investigate decades of expedient revenue suppression and rent seeking behavior is not an easy task, but it must be done.

During this budget session, I had asked for a Comprehensive Fee Schedule by department/division listing fees and charges that are cost-recovery, and those that are subsidized by the general fund.

No response.

In response to the third rail of San Diego politics, the Los Angeles Times carried the following quote:

When you talk about raising revenues in San Diego, you’re talking about hoteliers and developers…and the city is reluctant to do anything to disturb them.

As a result, revenues to rebuild our public structures have lagged behind other measures of growth.

Once a legal outcome is reached in any of the pension cases, the courts will want to see the money. Politicians can then use the standard ruse of implementing the will of “the court and regulators” as happened with increase in the water and sewer rates. The problem with these ad hoc patch-ons is that nobody in 2002 had the guts to say that businesses were paying too low for their industrial discharges. The Emperor indeed has a wardrobe problem but hushhhh…


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