DeMaio's Billion-Dollar Tax Increase Draws Fire From Community Leaders
Mayoral Candidate Raises Taxes Without a Vote of the Public or Capping Convention Center Costs to City
SAN DIEGO – (Monday, October 1, 2012) – After working for over a year, the push by downtown special interests to impose a $1 Billion tax without a public vote was officially approved by Republican mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio today.
The $1 Billion DeMaio tax increase will be imposed without any direct input from voters who rejected similar tax increases twice before. While the public won't see any new public services or education funding as a result of the tax increase, the major changes do benefit a number of powerful political donors who have supported DeMaio's campaign -- downtown business lobbyists, government contractors, real estate developers and hotel owners.
No proceeds of the tax are to be used on schools, public safety or repairing potholes in streets. All of the receipts of the DeMaio tax are to be used on a new downtown convention center expansion that will benefit a handful of corporations. Hotel owners and operators will get to control the money raised from the DeMaio tax. Downtown hotel owners have more say in how the money is spent than hotel owners outside of downtown.
Community leaders rebuked DeMaio and his tax increase:
Hon. Donna Frye, retired San Diego City Councilmember and open government advocate:
"Supporting a special tax without a public vote is bad public policy and puts the city’s budget at risk. Worse, no one knows if the special tax is even legal. The voters need to be aware of just how fast the self-proclaimed taxpayer watchdog, Carl DeMaio, rolled over for the right master and ignored the public’s right to vote on taxes."
Jim Mahler, President, American Federation of Teachers (San Diego and Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College Guild):
“San Diego’s students face threats of shorter school years, cuts to vital academic programs, teacher layoffs and unaffordable college tuition. But Carl DeMaio’s tax increase doesn’t help restore education funding. Instead, his vote to raise taxes will only benefit the downtown special interests that are funding his campaign.”
Pat Zaharopoulos, President of the San Diego Middle Class Taxpayers Association*:
"It's just common sense to include basic accountability about how the public's money is spent. Middle class families deserve protections that ensure taxpayers are on the hook for cost overruns. Carl DeMaio didn't stand up for that. He may prefer handing over the public's money to the downtown special interests funding his campaign, but raising taxes to benefit corporate profits is just another attack on San Diego's middle class."
For more information, contact San Diegans for Bob Filner for Mayor 2012 committee spokesman Evan McLaughlin at (619) 850-2790 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
*organization used for identification purposes only.
San Diegans for Bob Filner for Mayor 2012 is a committee primarily formed to support Congressman Filner in the City of San Diego’s mayor race and does not coordinate with any candidate or candidate-controlled committee. ID # 1348840