Supporters, opponents sound off about proposed hotel tax hike

California 2020 Primary

SAN DIEGO — A measure that will appear on the March 3 primary ballot is getting last-minute support both for and against it.

Measure C has been presented as the answer for the homeless crisis, damaged roads and a way to fund expansions at the San Diego Convention Center — all through a tax increase.

“Tourists are going to pay for this,” Mayor Kevin Faulconer said to FOX 5. “Tourists pay, San Diegans win.”

The measure would introduce a tax hike for overnight guests at San Diego hotels, motels, campgrounds and RV parks. The revenue from the tax increase would fund programs for the homeless, road improvements and convention center growth.

“We’re going to expand the convention center,” Faulconer said. “Comic-Con is so strongly supportive.”

Opponents worry the language in the measure isn’t specific enough and leaves room for loopholes.

“We’re being told by career politicians that we should trust them with a massive tax hike,” said congressional candidate Carl DeMaio, who has been outspoken against Measure C. “A tax hike that is a blank check for politicians to spend the money any way they want.”

The measure comes as the city grapples with debt over the last convention center expansion. Opponents also worry the measure won’t accurately address the homeless crisis.

“Under Measure C we will not get a guarantee that we can enforce our vagrancy laws, panhandling laws, loitering laws, drug laws — and without law enforcement, we will never see an improvement to the homeless crisis in San Diego,” DeMaio said.

However, supporters are hopeful Measure C will create jobs and keep major events, like Comic-Con, in San Diego.

“[There will be] thousands of jobs to expand this convention center,” Faulconer said. “These are good, quality jobs and something we’re going to be very proud of. And to have Comic-Con’s support today I think speaks volumes about the momentum that this campaign has.”

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