Faulconer, Kersey Call on City Council to Move “Rebuild San Diego” Proposal Forward
Ballot Measure Would Dedicate Funding for Streets, Parks and Neighborhood Upgrades for the Next 30 years
Monday, January 25, 2016 - NEWS RELEASE
San Diego – With the Skyline Hills Branch Library under construction behind them, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer and City Councilmember Mark Kersey today called on the City Council to take the steps necessary to place a measure on the June ballot that would dedicate funding for streets, parks and other neighborhood improvements for the next three decades.
“The neighborhood investments we’ve begun over the last few years are bringing better streets, parks and other improvements to communities across the city,” said Mayor Faulconer. “But there’s no guarantee that future mayors and City Councils will continue the progress we’ve made. This proposal ensures City leaders will continue to put our neighborhoods first for decades to come. It’s a major step toward building our better future.”
Councilmember Kersey’s “Rebuild San Diego” ballot measure would commit three of the City’s existing revenue streams – sales tax, general fund growth and pension payment savings – to neighborhood projects. It is projected to secure up to $4 billion to $5 billion for infrastructure projects over 30 years.
“The Rebuild San Diego measure is about our City budget reflecting the priorities of our citizens,” said Councilmember Kersey, Chair of the City’s Infrastructure Committee. “Infrastructure is a core responsibility of our government. The City needs to show it has skin in the game by demonstrating its long-term commitment to investing in neighborhood improvements.”
Mayor Faulconer endorsed the proposal earlier this month at his second “State of the City” address. The City Council is scheduled to vote at 2 p.m. Tuesday to direct the City Attorney’s Office to draft the language for the “Rebuild San Diego” measure so it can be ready to be placed on the June 7, 2016, ballot.
Jerry Sanders, President and CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, said, “The Chamber knows that investing in our region’s infrastructure is a sound investment in the growth and development of our local economy and jobs. Councilmember Kersey's ‘Rebuild San Diego’ measure shows businesses here and those considering a move to San Diego that the City is committed to investing more of its existing dollars to infrastructure. This plan provides us the opportunity to continue to make San Diego the best place to do business in California.”
The “Rebuild San Diego” measure is a charter amendment that requires City leaders to dedicate future sales tax growth and money from reduced pension payments toward neighborhood upgrades, including streets, sidewalks, storm drains, parks, libraries, recreation centers, and police and fire stations. In addition, it will preserve half of all new major general fund growth over the next five years for infrastructure projects – formalizing a commitment made by Mayor Faulconer in his first two budgets. The plan doesn’t include a tax increase of San Diegans.
If the measure moves forward with Tuesday’s vote, the City Council will have to cast a second vote in the coming weeks to place it on the June ballot.
The City is on its way to repairing 1,000 miles of streets in five years – a goal set by Mayor Faulconer in last year’s address. The City will also open or expand four branch libraries, build more fire stations and begin a historic expansion of San Diego’s parks.
The City broke ground on the new $13 million Skyline Hills Branch Library in October – the first new branch library since 2009. The 15,000-square-foot branch library will feature a multi-purpose community meeting room, conference rooms, study rooms, dedicated areas for children, a computer lab, bookstore, outdoor courtyard, original artwork and a roof with prismatic skylights. Construction is scheduled to be completed later this year.
Facts about the "Rebuild San Diego" Proposal
MAJOR STEP TOWARD REBUILDING SAN DIEGO’S NEIGHBORHOODS
Dedicates up to $4 billion to $5 billion over 30 years for neighborhood upgrades
- Proposal by City Councilmember and Infrastructure Committee Chair Mark Kersey prioritizes spending on neighborhoods using existing tax revenue rates.
- No new taxes on San Diegans.
- Voter approval ensures it cannot be ignored by future City leaders.
- Funding will go toward streets, sidewalks, parks, libraries, police and fire stations, and other neighborhood assets.
- Will fund new projects as well as maintenance of current assets.
- Only captures revenue during years of economic growth.
- Includes emergency suspension clause for periods of economic stress (requires approval by City Council supermajority).
ENSURING CITY BUDGETS INVEST IN NEIGHBORHOODS
- 100 percent of all net reductions to City’s annual pension payment go toward neighborhood improvements.
- Hundreds of millions of dollars are projected to be available in future City budgets for infrastructure projects due to lower pension payments stemming from voter-approved pension reform and reduction of long-term pension debt.
Sales Tax Growth
- Dedicates all sales tax growth in General Fund over set baseline to neighborhood upgrades.
- Baseline will be allowed to grow on an annual basis.
Major Revenue Growth
- Half of all new major revenue in the General Fund (excluding sales tax) committed to infrastructure improvements over next five years.
- Codifies a commitment made by Mayor Faulconer that was included in his first two budgets.
- Includes new revenue from property taxes, transient occupancy taxes and franchise fees.
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