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I’m planning to work on a long-term story the next couple of weeks.
Before I disappear down a rabbit hole, I thought I’d share a collection of links from our coverage of the city of San Diego’s financial reform ballot measure, known as Proposition D, as a touchstone for the most important item for November’s election.
The city is asking voters to increase the sales tax by a half-cent to 9.25 percent once a series of 10 fiscal reforms are complete. Supporters hope it can address the city’s persistent budget deficit, now pegged at more than $70 million for next year.
- The sales tax increase is expected to raise about $100 million annually, but the key question is how much money the reforms will save. I broke down all 10 and also the city’s estimates of annual savings: $626,000 to $85.5 million.
- Proponents are banking on maintaining and restoring the city’s public safety services as the proposition’s main selling point. Both the police and fire department already are stretched thin, but there’s no guarantee new sales tax money will go toward public safety. Passing the measure is likely to be an uphill battle.
- Opponents have filed a lawsuit against the measure aimed at removing it from the ballot. They contend it’s unconstitutional and vague.
- The two biggest reforms the city is undertaking: cutting its retiree health care costs and outsourcing city services. But other reforms won’t save a dime because the city plans to give them back to employees.
- For the measure even to reach the ballot took a six-week City Hall scramble that hadn’t been seen in some time. I made note of the drama.
- Finally, here’s a copy of the ballot measure and all the links to the ballot arguments.
— LIAM DILLON