Snag holds up final Tourism Marketing deal - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Snag holds up final Tourism Marketing deal

Posted: Updated:

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A tentative agreement to end a funding dispute between Mayor Bob Filner and the city of San Diego's Tourism Marketing District has run into a snag, forcing the City Council to postpone a ratification vote scheduled for Tuesday.

Filner told council members that amendments to an operating agreement between the city and the district don't have strong enough protections for the city government's general fund in case judges find the agency's funding mechanism to be illegal.

Some pending lawsuits contend that a 2 percent charge on hotel room rates to fund marketing activities amounts to an illegal tax. If judges agree, the city might be ordered to refund money already paid out for advertising San Diego as a vacation destination.

A lawyer for the tourism agency said he disagreed with Filner's assessment of the legal protections.

The two sides had tentatively agreed March 28 on a deal to end a months-long standoff over the issue.

"So much for the kumbaya moment," Councilwoman Lorie Zapf said.

Councilwoman Sherri Lightner compared the hold-up to the movie "Groundhog Day," in which a man keeps experiencing the same events over and over, or an episode of the television sitcom "Three's Company," in which the characters all remember things differently.

Filner wants the area's biggest hotels to protect the city from any risk associated with the lawsuits.

The City Council renewed the TMD for 40 years last November, but the mayor has refused to sign the initial five-year operating agreement, which releases administrative funds to the agency.

Tourism officials say the lack of money has caused them to hold off on a planned campaign to promote San Diego as a vacation spot this summer. The tourism agency also provides financial backing to area activities which attract tourists, like the Holiday Bowl and California State Games.

The council postponed ratification of an amended operating agreement until Monday.

"Today was meant to reflect a consensus that isn't there at this time," Council President Todd Gloria said.

He ordered both sides to have a consensus agreement, or their own versions, to his office by the close of business Thursday.

Terry Brown, the tourism district's chairman, said it was important to wait and get the details right.

"We will make our best efforts to achieve a mutually acceptable resolution," Brown said. "We are thankful that the council continues to express its support for the thousands of men and women who work in the tourism economy, and for their efforts to release the TMD monies."

Brown said layoffs could hit the tourism industry in a couple weeks if the standoff continues.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Gang unit investigating stabbing Chicano Park

    Gang unit investigating stabbing Chicano Park

    Sunday, April 20 2014 1:36 PM EDT2014-04-20 17:36:23 GMT
    A 29-year-old man was undergoing treatment at a San Diego trauma center after he was stabbed in the torso at a park, a police sergeant said Sunday. 
    A 29-year-old man was undergoing treatment at a San Diego trauma center after he was stabbed in the torso at a park, a police sergeant said Sunday. 
  • Thousands pass through downtown checkpoint

    Thousands pass through downtown checkpoint

    Sunday, April 20 2014 1:29 PM EDT2014-04-20 17:29:39 GMT
    Nine motorists were arrested on suspicion of drunken driving and 13 vehicles were impounded during an overnight sobriety/driver's license checkpoint in the East Village section of downtown San Diego, a police officer said Sunday. 
    Nine motorists were arrested on suspicion of drunken driving and 13 vehicles were impounded during an overnight sobriety/driver's license checkpoint in the East Village section of downtown San Diego, a police officer said Sunday. 
  • Victim in I-8 chain reaction crash identified

    Victim in I-8 chain reaction crash identified

    Sunday, April 20 2014 1:26 PM EDT2014-04-20 17:26:33 GMT
    The 71-year-old man killed in a chain reaction crash on Interstate 8 in La Mesa late Friday night was publicly identified Sunday. 
    The 71-year-old man killed in a chain reaction crash on Interstate 8 in La Mesa late Friday night was publicly identified Sunday. 
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and Midwest Television, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.