Council to attempt veto override on tourism deal

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tmd city council  SAN DIEGO — The San Diego City Council will try Monday to override Mayor Bob Filner’s veto of an operating agreement between the city and its Tourism Marketing District.

Filner vetoed the pact last week after a deal on amendments with the tourism agency’s board fell through. According to the mayor, the protections for the city in case judges invalidate the TMD’s funding mechanism are still insufficient.

Multiple lawsuits have been filed challenging the 2 percent levy on hotel room rates that generates money for the agency, which advertises San Diego as a vacation destination. The charge is separate from the hotel room tax.

If the TMD is legally required to pay back money to the hotels that has already been spent on marketing, the city’s general fund would have to pick up the tab, according to Filner. He wants the hotels to assume the risk.

The City Council had been poised earlier last week to ratify an amended agreement, which would have provided administrative funds to the district. Tourism officials say industry layoffs could begin in the next couple of weeks if they don’t get the funding.

Six votes will be needed to override the veto. If the Council does so, it will then consider amendments to the operating agreement brought forward by Filner and hoteliers.

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