The San Diego Convention Center / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

This post originally appeared in the April 6 Morning ReportSubscribe here.

A decision on whether the city will appeal a March Superior Court ruling that dealt a blow to the city’s attempt to argue a 2020 hotel-tax passed with less than a two-thirds vote has been postponed for a week.

On Tuesday, the City Council was expected to offer direction behind closed doors on whether to pursue an appeal of Judge Kenneth J. Medel’s March 7 ruling that Measure C failed before the city or initiative supporters ever went to court due to city moves after the election. Medel’s decision came despite rulings elsewhere in the state that citizens’ measures do not require the two-thirds vote typically needed to approve tax hikes.

Now the City Attorney’s Office says council members are set to debate the issue in closed session next week.

“The item was continued by the City Council to next week’s closed session to allow sufficient time for discussion,” attorney’s office spokeswoman Leslie Wolf Branscomb wrote in an email.

Yes! for a Better San Diego — the group behind the 2020 hotel-tax hike that aims to fund a Convention Center expansion, homeless initiatives and road repairs — late last month filed its own notice in Superior Court that it plans to appeal.

The campaign said Tuesday that they believe they have a strong case and would also welcome a city appeal.

“We appreciate the effort the judge put into his decision, but believe it is mistaken and not in line with recent decisions around the state. We are heartened that we are entitled to a prompt hearing in the Court of Appeal, so that we can move forward on work the vast majority of San Diego voters asked the City to accomplish — modernize our Convention Center, provide a funding stream to address homelessness, and invest in improving our streets and roads,” campaign committee member Jaymie Bradford wrote.

Advocates including those at Alliance San Diego, which challenged the city’s move to argue after the election that the measure passed with less than a two-thirds vote in Superior Court, have argued the city and Measure C supporters should instead concede that Measure C failed.

Lisa Halverstadt

Lisa is a senior investigative reporter who digs into some of San Diego's biggest challenges including homelessness, city real estate debacles, the region's...

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2 Comments

  1. Comment on – “…aims to fund a Convention Center expansion, homeless initiatives and road repairs…”

    Do we really want government in … “business” … and can’t the Convention Center be expected to finance its own expansion through attendance fees?

    Rather than “solving” homelessness government tends to exacerbate it through planning restrictions driving up the cost of housing. Perhaps less building restrictions to lower costs is the best “initiative”.

    Thought road repair was a current responsibly for government.

    That said – We need more taxes because…?

  2. Just create a new measure where the ToT tax is set at 18% and ALL the revenue it generates goes into the General Fund. Then the City Council can use it for necessary issues like roads, Convention Center expansion, homeless outreach and police training?

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