San Diego County Taxpayers Association creates voter guide for ballot measures

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – “Taxpayer Watchdog” Haney Hong joined KUSI News to discuss and outline the San Diego County Taxpayers Association’s Voter Guide for the 2020 ballot.

Hong made it clear that the San Diego County Taxpayers Association does not take political sides. Hong said the only side they take “is the side of fiscal responsibility and good governance.”

The Taxpayers Association has taken positions on the following:

Proposition 15 – NO This measure to implement a split roll property tax system could lead to an eventual reduction of California’s level of economic activity. An amendment of the state constitution that introduces a split-roll property tax may have potential negative effects on California’s economy.

Proposition 19 – NO This measure will amend the property tax portability provisions of the law enacted by Proposition 13 in 1978. Proposition 19 only adds to the complexities of Proposition 13, strips property owners (particularly low and middle-income Californians and seniors) of protections and “lockboxes” tax revenue, making it harder to flexibly address Californians’ needs in these tough times.

Proposition 21 – NO This measure does not adhere to SDCTA’s principles on rent control adopted in 2018. Historically, SDCTA has opposed all forms of rent control, maintaining that the imposition of rent control by local governments equates to setting a price ceiling below the market value of a property to a given portion of the market, prompting several adverse effects.

Measure A – YES This Homelessness and Affordable Housing Bond will build an estimated 7,500 subsidized housing rental units for low-income households, seniors, veterans and the homeless. Construction will be financed by $900 million in general obligation bonds.

Measure E – YES While SDCTA takes a strong stance against ballot box land-use planning, we support this to the San Diego Municipal Code 132.0505 Coastal Height Limit. This measure demonstrates positive economic implications through an increased tax base from development. Increased housing and commercial development in the Midway area with increased height limits will spur increased tax revenues. Increases in height limits also supports the adopted Community Plan Update that calls for increases in housing and density for a revitalization of the area.

Measure L – YES This City of Oceanside measure affirms the vote of the Oceanside City Council on the North River Farms project.

Measure T – YES This $125 million school bond for the Cajon Valley Union School District is similar to a previously submitted bond package, which SDCTA approved of, but involves less money. There will be no increase of taxes, and it will include a smaller project list.

Measure U – YES This $3.1 million bond for the Dehesa School District is very small, and very focused on upgrades and the rehabilitation of outdated facilities. The project list is well defined and appropriately fulfills the district’s needs.

Measure V – YES This $136 million La Mesa/Spring Valley School Bond meets key components of SDCTA’s 2020 School Bond Criteria. School site projects are listed individually, with appropriate cost estimates per site. Projects focus primarily on updating and refurbishing current facilities. No new facilities are included, which is consistent with the district’s projections that enrollment will for the most part remain stable.

Measure W – NO SDCTA has concerns over the project lists and costs for Oceanside Unified School District’s $160 million bond. The costs are not broken down specifically by project, and it leaves too much wiggle room for allocating funds for other projects. It mentions the sale of property, but the proposal does not make it clear what that property is or its appraised value. Most information used to draft this bond was from 2017, so SDCTA could not determine the amount spent currently or plans to spend on deferred maintenance.

Measure AA – YES The Valley Center Fire Protection District Emergency Response Protection Measure meets key SDCTA criteria for oversight committee protections. It demonstrates a well-defined need, and does not include full publicly funded pensions, but instead a 401(k)-style plan, which delivers savings to taxpayers.

To view the full November 2020 Voter Guide with complete details on why the Taxpayer’s Association took these positions, click here.

Categories: Local San Diego News, Politics