July 1, 2010
CONTACT: Lani Lutar
619-234-6423 or 619-838-9065 cell or email@example.com
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR
619-997-2495 or firstname.lastname@example.org
SDCTA Denounces Sales Tax Proposal by City of San Diego
Association urges reform before revenue and full implementation of managed competition
(San Diego) – The San Diego County Taxpayers Association will testify in opposition Thursday against an increase to the sales tax or business tax in the City of San Diego. The discussion is scheduled on tonight’s agenda of the City’s Citizen's Revenue Review and Economic Competitiveness Commission. The Commission meets at 5:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the City Administration Building, 202 C Street, San Diego.
“The Association remains consistent with its opposition to revenue proposals like these that have been attempted in other cities,” said Lani Lutar, President & CEO of SDCTA. “We firmly believe reform measures must be implemented first before going to the voters to ask for more of their money.
“In the City of San Diego, the most glaring reform that hasn’t been accomplished is managed competition nearly four years after voter approval. Even if new managed competition guidelines are implemented, it will be at least two years before we see any real results.”
Lutar said the Association would also like to see more effort put toward reining in pension costs, as has recently been demonstrated by other cities in the region and the State of California. In May, SDCTA conservatively estimated that a total of at least $5.65 million in savings to taxpayers have resulted from pension reform efforts County-wide since July 2009 (“Pension Reform Efforts Add Up to Real Savings for Taxpayers,” SDCTA, May 19, 2010).
“While the City of San Diego has achieved modest pension reform for a segment of new employees hired after July 1, 2009, it’s only a start. We expect much more to be done long before asking citizens to cough up more in taxes, especially while we’re experiencing double-digit unemployment rates,” said Lutar. “These modest, sensible measures make a huge difference. Asking employees to contribute an equal amount to their own pensions along with trimming some benefits adds up. The savings can then be invested in services such as improved public safety protection, infrastructure repair and maintenance, and keeping libraries and parks open longer hours – all without raising taxes to do so.”
Lutar also points out that there is nothing to ensure any fees or tax increases will pay for essential services such as police, fire and lifeguard protection. The funds could go to staff salary and pension increases. “It makes no sense to pour more money down a black hole,” said Lutar. “Without reforms that put the City’s financial house in order and cut costs, the taxpayers are allowing our elected officials to put off making the tough decisions they were elected to make.”
The San Diego County Taxpayers Association is a non-profit, non-partisan organization, dedicated to promoting accountable, cost-effective and efficient government and opposing unnecessary new taxes and fees. Founded in 1945, SDCTA has spent the past 65 years saving the region’s taxpayers millions of dollars, as well as generating information to help educate the public.