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Analysis: Ladies and gentlemen, this was a bit of a whopper.
After I heard him make this statement, and re-listened to the meeting to transcribe it, I asked Hueso’s office what he could have been thinking.
“Since the city is receiving less in sales tax today versus last year (-$22.7 million) and the year before (-$11.9) and the year before that (-$17.4 million), it stands to reason that people are paying less,” Michelle Ganon, Hueso’s spokeswoman, responded to me in an e-mail.
There are a number of things wrong with this.
First, yes, the city’s revenues from sales taxes have declined. But not because taxes have gone down. It’s a recession, and people are buying fewer things, hence the city has collected less in sales tax revenue.
Second, the government’s share of a sales transaction has only gone up. Last year, the state raised the sales tax 1 percent across the board, for all cities, including San Diego. People definitely aren’t paying lower sales taxes.
There really is no way to spin his statement as anything but false.
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— SCOTT LEWIS
Update: We added the next sentence from Hueso’s statement for added context on the argument he was making.