The Morning Report
San Diego news and info
you need to take on the day.

Wow the U-T does a poll? This really is a new U-T.

I now have data to back up my belief that the Prop. D vote will be closer than many think. Remember my take on the history of tax efforts locally. Though it is easy to assume San Diego voters blindly reject tax increases, the truth is more nuanced. Increases have come close recently. And they fell short only by a little and only because a crucial bit of support from the business community and/or mayor was lacking.

When a broad coalition gathers to support a measure that only needs 50 percent (plus one!) to pass, well, it’s got a chance. And that’s what’s happening here.

This could be close, and that’s why any bad taste leftover from this “Sacramento Surprise” as U-T columnist Tim Sullivan called it, might have a major impact. Supporters can’t afford to lose even one voter.

• Speaking of that Sacramento Surprise, Liam Dillon has a good post explaining what options the county of San Diego has if it decides it wants to legally challenge the porkfest Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher secured for San Diego.

County Supervisor Dianne Jacob, for instance, was so mad about the deal that will sequester more property taxes downtown rather than allow them to flow to county coffers that she refused to go to a press conference the mayor hosted even though she was on the announcement.

“When the backroom deal occurred to lift the cap, it threw out the window any guarantees that county taxpayers would be protected as well as taxpayers in other areas of the city of San Diego that are not in downtown San Diego,” Jacob told Dillon.

Remember, last week, 10News had this:

“A highly-placed county source told 10News the county’s top administrator, Walt Ekard, met with Mayor Sanders late last week to discuss the growing controversy. According to the source, Ekard told the mayor he could no longer trust him to play fair with the redevelopment funds.”

Ekard, though, told me that’s not true. “We had a brief, very professional and very spirited discussion that was private,” he wrote in an email.

J.W. August, the managing editor for 10News says he’s standing behind his source.

• Sullivan wasn’t really talking about Fletcher’s bill as much as he was describing where we are in a now nearly decade-long saga about whether the Chargers would leave San Diego. I’m too young to have followed many other stories for so long. But this one has been like watching honey progress slowly down a freeway on-ramp.

Anyway, back to Sullivan, it does appear as though we are heading into the final, dramatic act of this long story. We may still have to sit through four more years of the play, but this is the final act. It’s the climatic long-anticipated showdown with Los Angeles.

Even when they were apologizing for doing this Sacramento Surprise behind our back, they admitted it was to keep LA from killing it.

Sullivan:

… so long as the NFL has a vacancy in Los Angeles and the Chargers’ lease carries an annual escape clause, San Diego will be vulnerable to the implicit threat of relocation. Much as we might prefer to consider the Chargers’ stadium question at our leisure, the situation is fluid and fraught with uncertainty. One of these days — maybe even in this millennium — LA is going to get out of its own way and get something done.

There was even a cameo from former City Attorney Mike Aguirre who told Sullivan he now understands how popular the Chargers are and that the city should just raise a tax if it wants to pay for a stadium for them.

Sullivan said that sounded like a “leaden trial balloon.”

Yes, maybe it is. But it provided the window for me to make my favorite point about the Chargers stadium saga. It’s the most important thing you have to know to understand the issue.

Most other places put a small tax hike on the ballot to support their funding of new football stadiums. It’s a strange but apparently reliable way to fund massive government expenditures: raise taxes to pay for them.

But this option is not available to California cities. Why? Because in California you would need support from two-thirds of voters to pass such a tax. All these other places pass the taxes with more than 50 percent but not more than two-thirds.

That’s why we have not raised money to give to football teams but instead redirect money from other efforts. And that’s why you have to minimize the possibility that money could ever be used for anything else — hence the late-night redevelopment deal.

Please contact Scott Lewis directly at scott.lewis@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.325.0527 and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/vosdscott.

Scott Lewis

Scott Lewis oversees Voice of San Diego’s operations, website and daily functions as Editor in Chief. He also writes about local politics, where he frequently...

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.