Mercy Baron 12:43 p.m., Dec. 7
Maloni on Voting as Legalized Gambling on Redevelopment Projects
Scott Maloni informed us in the media over the weekend that downtown San Diego provides us with $60 million annually in tax revenues that are used for public safety and community services throughout the City of San Diego.
If only it were enough.
Maloni, board chairman at the Downtown San Diego Partnership, informed us about the $60 million while supporting the mayoral veto of the new City Hall proposal ballot measure. According to Maloni, having a public vote on that sort of project was a bad precedent, where the will of the majority that would most likely vote it down was characterized by Maloni as merely “a political roll of the dice.” So, instead of a public vote, we have the soothing words of a Poseidon Resources vice president because “The project's fiscal and economic benefits are too important” to have us dicey people vote for or against it.
Of course, if most of Masters of the Downtown Partnership thought that they could convince us that it was actually a good idea, we would have a City Hall ballot measure on for the November election faster than you could say “football stadium over the Port of San Diego.”
What Maloni chose not to tell us was a lot.
What Maloni didn't mention was that at $60 million a year in tax revenues for all of San Diego's public safety and community service needs, it would take at least 100 years to match the Tax Increment increase of just over $6 billion being requested for redevelopment agencies to skim off of the local tax base in downtown, where the current TI cap of $2.98 billion is proposed to increase to $9 billion, if that TI cap increase hasn't already been approved while nobody was watching.
The thing is, the Downtown Partnership overlords never plan that far in advance. Most likely, they will be able to squeeze 100 years of tax revenue matching into a decade or less of redevelopment-sponsored spending on new sports facilities downtown.
For those of us who were just salivating over the possibility of voting this November for or against a brand new city hall at $293.5 million (not including debt financing), we can instead turn to fact finding by emailing one or more of the following questions to Maloni at the Downtown Partnership, then waiting for his response, but I'd advise you not to hold your breath:
How much of the Tax Increment withheld by redevelopment agencies is used to reduce the City's public employee pension deficit?
How much of the Tax Increment withheld by redevelopment agencies is used to pay for the new central library?
How much of the Tax Increment withheld by redevelopment agencies pays for police officers, firefighters, or any of the 20 or more fire houses that need to be built in San Diego?
How much of the Tax Increment withheld by redevelopment agencies go to putting power lines underground to prevent future uninsured wildfire legal cost billing of SDG&E customers?
How much of the Tax Increment withheld by redevelopment agencies went toward on-site alternative energy generation to reduce the need for SDG&E's Sunrise Powerlink project, or the need for higher peak business hour electricity rates for small business and residential customers?
How much of the Tax Increment withheld by redevelopment agencies went to keeping Comic-Con or the Chargers in town?