‘ReBuild San Diego’ plan

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — A number of tax issues will be on the primary ballot next month and one of them is Proposition-H, a city hall ballot measure to Rebuild San Diego’s $5 billion infrastructure backlog.

Prop-H is an effort to address this problem, but will the voters buy it?

Councilmember Mark Kersey crafted Prop-H and believes it will pass because it doesn’t increase taxes. 

But Councilmember Todd Gloria said voters may think this solves our infrastructure problem, but down the road they will discover it hasn’t.

Prop-H would set aside a portion of sales tax growth and pension savings over the next 25 years to free up $4 billion. It also sets aside half of property and hotel tax growth over the next five years.

"It’s gonna take over the long term dedicating more maintenance money and that’s what really got us in this mess, not maintaining our city buildings and everything else we should have so really having that dedication is gonna be the right path forward," Kersey said.

Gloria said closing off funds will tie the hands of future councils if revenues drop in future years.

The Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring the "Yes on H" campaign. The mayor supports it, but some taxpayer advocates and city unions are opposing it, saying spreading $4 billion over 25 years doesn’t raise enough money to adequately deal with the problem.

"Even supporters of Prop-H recognize that this this is over a billion short of what is needed in just the next 5 years. This actually locks in spending for the next 25 years," Gloria said.

On Good Morning San Diego, both agree the backlog problem needs to be solved.

"Rebuild San Diego is very important, obviously it gets back to that maintenance issue we mentioned before, if we would have done this 25 years ago we wouldn’t be having this conversation today," Kersey said.

Asking taxpayers to increase taxes is never an ideal option, so Kersey would set aside a portion of future tax dollars to fund his infrastructure plan.

"Not a tax increase. It’s a charter amendment, we’re gonna maintain our city infrastructure much better than we have in the past," Kersey said.

Gloria will ask voters to vote against it. He said it’s about priorities.

"When you’re asking the voters to take action on something specific, we could ask them for more money. There are people out there today who are asking for more money for the Chargers stadium for a convention center expansion, I just ask why can’t we do that for our neighborhoods," he said.

Beyond that, Gloria said the mayor has already set aside 50 percent of new revenues for road repairs, the number one complaint from citizens for as long as anyone can remember.

He said Prop-H looks like you’re doing something to the voters, but it’s actually maintaining the status quo.

"It gives them this impression that we can actually solve this thing without asking the voters to do anything, and as you noted, nobody’s asking for anything, and that’s exactly why we have this problem," Gloria said.

Kersey never said his plan will solve the infrastructure problem, but said it may prevent the next generation from having to deal with it.

Categories: Local San Diego News