The city of San Diego remains at the bottom of large California cities in collecting tax money for its day-to-day operating budget, a new study has found.
The city collects the least revenue as a percentage of household income of any major California city. The finding is a repeat of what an earlier version of the study found five years ago.
The left-leaning Center on Policy Initiatives updated the study, called “The Bottom Line,” from its original publication in 2005.
The original study often is cited to prove the city’s tax-averse reputation and to show the city should create new taxes or fees.
The center’s update followed a request by a city task force on new revenue. The task force head has warned the city must act quickly if it expects new taxes or fees to help solve persistent budget gaps.
San Diego, the study concludes, collected more tax money from 2006-2009 than it did at the beginning of the last decade, but much less than other cities. The city remains behind large cities in taxes for property, sales, tourism, trash and business licensing.
The study already has attracted scorn from fiscal conservatives. The San Diego County Taxpayers Association released an 18-page critique of the study, noting among other concerns that the inclusion of San Francisco as a comparison skews the data. San Francisco is a city and county and functions differently than the remaining cities.
— LIAM DILLON