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Analysis: The city of San Diego’s November financial reform ballot measure, known as Proposition D, would increase San Diego’s sales tax by a half-cent once a series of 10 cost cutting conditions are met.
Proponents of the measure are using public safety as their main selling point, holding a press conference in front of a fire station and talking about catastrophic cuts to police and fire departments unless the proposition passes.
Those two departments make up more than half the city’s day-to-day operating budget and city leaders have pledged to make public safety the top priority for new revenues.
The money could be spent for anything the operating budget pays for including public safety, parks, libraries and City Council members’ own salaries. Or, as opponents point out, it could pay for the rising cost of the city’s pension obligations.
Backers of the proposition could have dedicated the tax increase to public safety, but state law requires that taxes tied to a certain purpose be passed by a two-thirds margin. This measure is a general sales tax increase, which only requires a majority of voters to say “yes.”
Since money that comes from additional sales tax revenue is not earmarked, including public safety, we’re calling the statement true.
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— LIAM DILLON