Prop Zero
The Starting Point for Commentary and Coverage of California Politics

A San Diego Political Suicide?

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The San Diego City Council might have been wiser to ban surf and sand than to ask citizens to raise taxes.

    In a stunning development, the council in San Diego -- a city famous for not charging residents many of the same taxes and fees (for utilities or trash) that are routine in other places -- is asking voters to raise the state sales tax.

    What's even more fascinating is how the tax is structured. Understanding the widespread local hostility to tax increases, the measure is full of triggers that must be reached before a tax increase go into effect. Among the things the city must do before the tax increase could take effect: outsource city services; lower the pensions for new firefighters, convince city employees to agree to reduce their own pension and health benefits.

    Those are some strong conditions -- but they may not be strong enough to change minds in San Diego about the value of raising taxes.