As San Diego prepares for the half-cent sales tax hike Battle of the Millennium in the next two weeks, Bruce Katz at quotes Mayor Jerry Sanders in his article "Intelligent Cities" on how investment is needed in America's metropolitan areas to double exports and create jobs.

According to Katz, Sanders made the following comments for the October 21 article: "When we emerged out of the period when the defense industry left San Diego, Connect was there. They helped to create eight clusters of technology that have been employment drivers in San Diego, and we've been able to build on that ever since." Connect was cited by Katz as a non-profit group linking investors to academic researchers and inventors in the San Diego region.

Sanders was recently in the news to apologize for the process of state legislation side-stepping local consideration of a tax increment cap increase to Centre City Development Corporation estimated at $6 billion in diverted tax revenues. Leaders in many San Diego county government agencies were surprised by the secretive legislative act sponsored by Nathan Fletcher during closed-door Sacramento budget talks, as those county agencies were in the planning stages or in active local negotiations for their part of the CCDC tax increment largess.

As a result of the $6 billion CCDC tax increment deal , the issue of a temporary half-cent City of San Diego sales tax increase on the November ballot has inspired little public confidence in the local tax measure. In comparison to the CCDC maneuver, the proposed sales tax revenue is intended to cover a city budget shortfal estimated at around $70 million.

The City Council earlier this year attempted to forgive a $244 million loan and interest debt owed by the city's Redevelopment Agency, but sent the proposal back to city staffers without debate. The San Diego City Council members are the board members of the Redevelopment Agency.

Critics link the complex city financing moves to negotiations with the San Diego Chargers over a new NFL stadium. The NFL has confirmed that the practice of game-day television blackouts will continue if more Chargers home games are not sellouts in the last days before a game.

Time: Intelligent Cities


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