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Reader CMR liked the idea of punting part of the convention center debt to the TMD, but disagreed with my “previous calls for the arts being mandated there as well.” 

Response: I believe the arts can show that they generate TOT. Many festivals, shows, community fairs and events bring in visitors from out of town.

Reader RD asked:

“So is it a tax or not?”

Response: It’s called an assessment for the purposes of the TMD, but it seems like a tax to me. Rather than the general public having the opportunity to vote, only hotel owners who operate more than 70 rooms were allowed to vote to determine whether to assess the tourists who stay in their hotels the two cents. The majority voted yes.

Reader Coast Watcher wrote:

 “It’s time for citizens to realize what they could reap from a few extra cents or maybe even bucks per room per night. They want and need good infor for what the TOT is going to now. Then you might just pull off a larger increase by citizens’ vote.”

Response:  Coast Watcher makes a good point. The public needs to have better and more accurate information. I suspect, however, now that the TMD has been approved, the hotel owners would fight any ballot measure that raised the TOT. That’s why I proposed adjusting the current allocations. 

Reader www.robert-lee.org wrote: 

 “If one believes the TMD is a tax, it needs to be voted on by the citizens of San Diego.”

Response: The TMD was voted on by the hotel owners. I am asking for a response regarding the current TOT allocation formula, which is not the same as the TMD.

Thanks again to all who responded to my blog. I appreciate everyone’s comments and look forward to being invited back to the Cafe. Happy New Year!

— DONNA FRYE

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