SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Anti-tax activist Richard Rider and another man Thursday filed a lawsuit against Proposition D, the city of San Diego's proposed half-cent sales tax increase on the November ballot.
The proposition, placed on the ballot by the City Council, calls for the tax hike once certain reform measures are implemented.
Rider, who filed the suit along with Stephen Cicero, called the reform measures "very empty on substance."
"It's bad on so many levels," Rider said at a news conference.
He said the measure confuses voters by making them think the 10 reforms will not be implemented if the proposition does not pass, when in fact they can be voted on by the City Council at any time.
"This is a con job, it's outright extortion," Rider said.
The plaintiffs claim the proposition violates the single issue rule, causes the City Council to abdicate legislative and administrative authority, contains provisions that are vague and has a misleading ballot title.
The ballot title includes the phrase "essential services," which would make voters believe the tax hike will pay for police and fire protection, when in fact the new money is destined for the general fund, Rider said.
He said proposition D needs only a simple majority to pass on Nov. 2 because it is a general tax, but if it went for special uses, it would require a 2/3 margin for approval.
The lawsuit describes the ballot measure as "a Frankenstein Proposition" that was "thrown together and passed by the San Diego City
Council in their 'eleventh hour."'
The 10 benchmarks that would have to be completed before the sales-tax increase could be enacted are:
-- eliminating retirement offsets for elected officials and unrepresented city employees;
-- reaching agreement with labor unions over how to implement the voter-approved managed competition program;
-- completing a cost neutrality study of the Deferred Retirement Option Program, or DROP;
-- soliciting bids for the outsourcing of the Miramar Landfill;
-- eliminating terminal leave for all city employees;
-- reducing retirement offset costs for city employees represented by a union;
-- lowering retiree health care costs;
-- soliciting bids to out-source the remaining information technology services;
-- creating a second-tier pension plan for firefighters; and
-- starting a lower-cost voluntary 401(k)-style pension plan for employees.
Defendants include Mayor Jerry Sanders, members of the City Council, and because of their elections duties, City Clerk Liz Maland and county Registrar of Voters Deborah Seiler.
The plaintiffs are hoping to get an expedited court schedule, but no hearings have been set.
After a fall-like and mild weekend, temperatures are expected to heat up around San Diego throughout the week.
An early morning vegetation and trash fire at a homeless encampment threatened nearby condos and resulted in at least one injury Sunday.
Detoured traffic is unusually light during the closure of all Mexico-bound car traffic at the busiest U.S. border crossing in San Diego.
The city's search for the next top cop is underway as police chief Shelly Zimmerman prepares to step down in March.
More than 200 surfers paddled out for a daunting day-long challenge Saturday inspired by young men in the community facing a far bigger one.
A semi-truck ran over a fire hydrant Saturday afternoon in Grant Hill causing a huge geyser to spray into the air. Luckily, firefighters were just minutes away at a community event and were able to put a stop to the water quickly.
Employees of an Otay Mesa towing company arrived at work Saturday morning to find the body of a coworker under a vehicle
The Golden State Warriors say they will not go to the White House when they visit Washington early next year, announcing the decision hours after President Donald Trump tweeted he was withdrawing the invitation.
A clinic providing shots to in a bid to contain a deadly hepatitis A outbreak continued Friday inside the community concourse outside San Diego City Hall.