City council considers new ballot measures - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

City council considers new ballot measures

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The City Council is scheduled Tuesday to consider whether to place a pair of ballot measures before voters in November -- one to tax marijuana dispensaries and the other to raise a lid on affordable housing units in San Diego.
The marijuana proposal from Councilman Mark Kersey, if passed, would establish a 5 percent levy on gross receipts on businesses that sell marijuana, should state voters pass a recreational use legalization proposition this fall. The tax would grow to 8 percent the second year, and the city would have the discretion to raise the amount to 15 percent in the future.
Cannabis sold for medical purposes would not be taxed under his plan.
Approval of the state proposition would create an unfunded mandate that would financially burden city government, and taxpayers can't be asked to divert funds from other areas to pay for it, Kersey said at a recent meeting. He said the state ballot measure has a taxation provision, but little -- if any -- of that revenue would make it to San Diego.
Opponents worry that taxes would raise prices at legitimate outlets, increasing the black market in marijuana.
The other proposed ballot measure would increase the limit on the number of affordable housing units the city and other public agencies are allowed to help develop, construct, or acquire by 10,000 units to a total of 38,680. A 2011 study by the San Diego Association of Governments estimated that was the number of low-cost housing units that would be needed in the city by 2020.
According to city staff, only 3,247 more affordable housing units can be constructed under the current limit.
If the two proposals are placed on the ballot, they would be in addition to a pair of citywide initiatives -- one on whether to raise hotel room taxes to fund part of a stadium-convention center annex project for the Chargers and the other that would direct the future of tourism funding and bar an expansion of the current convention center.
Also, voters countywide will vote on a San Diego Association of Governments measure that would raise sales taxes by a half-cent to pay for infrastructure projects.
Several other city measures could be placed on the ballot next week.

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