Proposition H - Can It Save Infrastructure?

May 31, 2016

It is an interesting idea. California primaries will be held next week and San Diego voters must decide June 7 whether the best way to upgrade the city’s crumbling infrastructure is Proposition H, which would devote an estimated $3 billion in future sales tax growth and pension savings to the problem.

Supporters, including the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce and much of the local building industry, say the measure would guarantee infrastructure won’t get neglected again and do so without raising taxes. They say Proposition H would rightfully treat infrastructure as a core city function so that roads, sidewalks, parks, libraries and fire stations are always in solid shape.

Proposition H, which if passed will go into effect next summer,  would create a new Infrastructure Fund with three streams of revenue: pension savings for 25 years, sales tax growth above inflation for 25 years, and half of property and hotel tax growth for five years.

San Diego analysts estimate $1.3 billion from pension savings, between $1 billion and $1.4 billion from sales tax growth and about $77 million from property and hotel tax growth.

County Democrats disagree and say the proposition won't raise enough money or fund emergency needs, suggesting instead a bond measure to raise property taxes. Francine Busby, chairwoman of the county Democratic Party, said, " It's not a real solution — it's a shell game," she said. "It's just moving the same money into different silos."

Read more of the San Diego Union-Tribune story here.