Tourists staying in San Diego pay a tax on their hotel rooms that ends up in city coffers. Under the current system, there’s a 10.5 percent tax on hotel bills, plus another 2 percent that goes to the Tourism Marketing District.

The mayor wants to raise the hotel tax to help fund an expansion of the Convention Center along the waterfront. And now a lawyer who’s been a thorn in the city’s side for many years has helped put together a ballot measure that would also push it higher.

If passed, attorney Cory Briggs’ initiative would restructure the hotel-room tax and eliminate the 2 percent that goes to the TMD. It would also prevent an expansion of the Convention Center on the waterfront and remove hurdles to building a stadium downtown or in Mission Valley.

NBC’s Monica Dean and Voice of San Diego’s Scott Lewis delve deep into the hotel tax, Briggs’ proposal to overhaul it and what it will take to get voters to approve it. That’s this week’s San Diego Explained.

Amanda Rhoades is a reporting intern for Voice of San Diego. You can get in contact with her by phone or email at 619-550-5672 or

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