Vincent Farnsworth 6:31 p.m., Dec. 4
Did Mayor's Blessing Give Away the Proposed Sales Tax Increase Revenue to CCDC?
From last week's announcement of a Sacramento legislative budget deal that included a tax increment cap increase to the Centre City Development Corporation, details are scarce, but Saturday's daily paper carried a front page story on how closed door negotiations, encouraged by Mayor Jerry Sanders, led to the deal that apparently awaits the Governator's signature.
It may be enough to encourage a courtesy call by former City Attorney Michael Aguirre to the United States Department of Justice regarding the possibility that the state legislature violated public advance notice laws on the secretive nature of CCDC's portion of state budget negotiations. The deal comes as it appears the Little Italy business improvement district whistle-blower trial Scott Kessler v. City of San Diego has been postponed from October 15 to after the sales tax increase vote.
According to existing state law, tax revenue increases resulting from redevelopment agency activities (the “tax increment” being the difference between pre and post-development tax revenues) are not distributed to the city but reserved for the redevelopment agency. In just a few weeks, San Diego residents will vote on a temporary half-cent sales tax increase, most of which will be collected downtown within CCDC project boundaries.
If a new NFL stadium is constructed in the CCDC project boundaries, then state law appears to preempt any local City Council intent for any stadium-generated sales tax increase money other than its diversion to and use by CCDC for whatever is in that corporation's development planning pipeline.
Keep your enemies close, your friends closer, and your council member closest of all... but not if you want a cut of that sales tax increase. If that's what you need to feed the pension monster or keep public safety funded but Fred Maas isn't on your Christmas card list, then too bad for you.