San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders will undertake a formal study on new city taxes for stormwater and refuse collection.

The decision came as part of the city’s passage of its 2011 budget yesterday.

Councilman Tony Young’s motion to approve the budget included a requirement that the mayor initiate a cost of service study for stormwater and/or trash collection in preparation for a future fee. Sanders spokeswoman Rachel Laing said the mayor wasn’t going to veto the budget, and would comply with everything in the council resolution.

Asked if that included the cost of service study, Laing replied, “Yes.”

But Laing said calling the study a formal step toward a tax proposal was “premature,” adding that Sanders didn’t want to interfere with a committee Young to has created examine city revenues. The mayor is not participating in that committee, but will offer staff support, Laing added.

Taxes on stormwater and trash collection are the two fees long considered the most likely for the city to implement. Both would require public votes — with the trash tax needing a majority of city voters — before they could be created.

The Mayor’s Office gave no timeframe for the start or completion of the study, nor details on what it might entail. Laing added she didn’t know if the mayor would examine both a stormwater fee and a refuse tax or just one.

In an interview, Young said he didn’t intend his motion to be a call for revenue increases. Instead, he wanted to give the city as many options as possible for addressing long-term budget issues.

The budget resolution the council passed contained numerous other recommendations made by the Office of the Independent Budget Analyst, including examining work schedules for city employees and completing outsourcing negotiations.

Update: The original cutline under the stock photo for this post was from a previous news event and has since been corrected. We regret the error. The original version of this story also incorrectly stated the percentage of votes the trash tax would need to be enacted. We regret the error.


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