SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) – Voters may have the opportunity to decide on the future of San Diego's hotel tax.
The City Council Monday discussed whether Mayor Faulconer's proposed measure should appear on the ballot in a special election in November.
The goal was to gain the city council's support for the hotel tax hike, which would help pay for the expansion of the convention center. The convention center hosts many events every year, including Comic-Con, which according to Mayor Faulconer, is an event vital to the community.
“It generates millions of dollars in economic activity that we use in this city to help our neighborhoods, pave our roads, keep our parks open, our libraries,” said Mayor Faulconer.
The plan received a mixed reception Monday from the council and members of the public.
Area tourism leaders urged the city council to support a proposed ballot measure that would raise hotel room taxes between one and three percent.
The hotel room tax is currently 10.5 percent citywide, with an additional 2 percent fee that funds tourism promotions.
According to the mayor, the additional money would pay for the more than $630 million expansion of the bay front facility. Additionally, the measure would generate $900 million over a 40 year period to help fund homeless programs and pay for road repairs.
While council members all agreed in April there was a need for a bigger convention center, concerns have been raised by homeless advocates that the money being generated by the new tax hike is insufficient to effectively tackle issues involving the homeless.
Activists also argue that promised money for the homeless and street repairs is simply being used to win public support.
However if this measure were to pass, the proposed expansion would provide a 360-degree view of San Diego’s bay front and downtown skyline. Plus, phase III of the expansion project would allow people to enjoy festivals, community events, public art, relaxing gardens and views atop the convention center in a brand new five-acre rooftop park. Also, a new urban playground would create the largest park area in downtown.
The mayor's plan is to put the measure before voters in a special election in November.
The City Council is scheduled to vote on whether to place the issue on the ballot at a June 12 meeting.
In order for the measure to pass, it would need two-thirds of the vote.
In San Diego, the "Great American Eclipse" will have maximum visibility at 10:23 a.m. Monday, August 21. Southern California residents will have about 60 percent darkness at that time.
With just a week to go, many people across the U.S. are buzzing about the "Great American Eclipse."
Hundreds of people rallying against illegal immigration and counter-protesters opposing their stance were squaring off today along the shore at Broadway and Pacific Coast Highway in Laguna Beach.
The San Diego LGBT Community Center and other social justice groups held a rally against hate in response to the Alt-Right rallies held across the country in recent days.
A whale watching boat spotted a whale four miles off the coast of Point Loma entangled in fishing line.
A man was seriously injured when he was struck by a hit-and-run motorist in the Mira Mesa community of San Diego, a police officer said Sunday.
Temperatures are expected to be about average over the next week throughout San Diego County with the warmest temperatures in that period expected over the weekend.
San Diego Gas & Electric officials said they expect to lose about 500 megawatts of solar energy production during tomorrow's solar eclipse, but they expect to have enough power on hand to meet demand.