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It's no mystery that executives at Downtown San Diego Partnership have wanted to extend the reach of the property-based improvement district, also known as the Clean and Safe Program, for quite some time.

In the past year alone, the higher-ups at Downtown Partnership, the non-profit corporate booster that manages the program has hired one consultant after another to help grow the district.

Well, it looks like their work, and the hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer assessments paid to consultants, might have just paid off.

On Monday, city councilmembers will consider whether to create a "Commercial Marketing District Zone," an additional assessment that would be added to the existing Clean and Safe program. The new zone will expand the district by assessing all commercial-office property owners whose office-space measures 50,000 square feet or more.

The Commercial Marketing District Zone is expected to generate $353,080 a year, that's in addition to the $5.6 million that the Downtown Partnership collects from taxpayers annually.

The money will be used to attract new businesses to downtown, create a marketing strategy to attract and retain tenants, assist downtown's homeless population, and pay for a new shuttle to transport tenants and customers and alleviate parking demands in downtown.

"The goal of the proposed [Commercial Marketing District] zone is to enhance the competitive profile of the downtown office market within the San Diego regional market and beyond," reads a report from city staffers. "Based upon interviews and discussions with key members of the downtown real estate community, including both private and public sector representatives, and a survey of best practices from other downtowns tailored to the unique context, challenges and opportunities facing office properties with over 50,000 [square-feet] located within the downtown San Diego market."

In fact, execs at the Downtown Partnership have been hoping to extend their influence over downtown for some time now. In October 2009, they asked the City to modify the existing engineer's report to include the Commercial Marketing District zone.

Downtown property owners will have the final vote even if councilmembers decide to approve the new assessment, as is required by law.

Update: City council voted in favor of starting the process. Proponents will be looking for support of new CMD before ballots go out.

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Comments

nostalgic July 29, 2012 @ 5:38 p.m.

This will, of course, enable the new funds to be co-mingled with the old funds. So the $353,080 of services may be $600,000, and help to pay for more consultants along the way. Just so you know how it works.

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Founder July 30, 2012 @ 6:46 p.m.

FYI: I bet the vote will be decided by the majority of the RETURNED ballots not by 51% of those legible to actual vote... This makes a huge difference when one group is able to swing the vote to favor its own members...

These votes should be put on the ballot and decided by the public vote.

Another issue is the yearly amount these taxes can be raised, besides using the COLA I believe that a cap needs to be included so that if we have run away inflation, these additional taxes don't go through the roof!

One thing is for sure, as soon as a group starts getting money like this there NEVER will be too much money in their account so everyone should plan on maximum raises of these taxes every year, because those making money from the administration of this money will always want BIG raises... Look for record salaries for all those employed...

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