Flanked by competing superheros — and mayoral candidates — Mayor Kevin Faulconer made a final pitch Monday for Measure C, which will tax tourists to expand the convention center, assist the homeless and repair streets.
“Measure C has brought people together who normally don’t agree on much,” said Faulconer. “Measure C means the tourists pay and San Diego wins.”
The measure has widespread support from political, business, labor, religious and community leaders, but requires a two-thirds majority to pass. There are a handful of vocal opponents, including former City Councilman Carl DeMaio, who argues any new tax is wrong, even if San Diegans won’t pay it.
Joining Faulconer at a press conference in the Gaslamp were mayoral candidates Todd Gloria, a Democrat, and Scott Sherman, a Republican, as well as Marvel’s Captain America and DC’s Wonder Woman in a nod to the importance of keeping Comic-Con in San Diego.
Gloria said the city has been seeking to expand the the convention center for 10 years and this vote may be the last opportunity.
It’s the biggest team-up since Avengers or Justice League.
Todd Gloria, Scott Sherman and I joined forces with Cap and Wonder Woman today to remind voters that Measure C means TOURISTS pay and SAN DIEGANS win!
Be a superhero in the voting booth on Tuesday.
— Kevin Faulconer (@Kevin_Faulconer) March 2, 2020
“The case for investing in our convention center has only become stronger,” he said, adding that it’s also “time to leverage visitor spending so we can finally tackle homelessness.”
His opponent, Sherman, noted that Comic-Con has repeatedly considered leaving the city because the convention center hasn’t been expanded.
“We’ve lost seven conventions already because we don’t have the space,” he warned.
Measure C would increase the Transient Occupancy Tax paid by overnight hotel guests from 10.5% to between 11.75% and 13.75%, depending on a hotel’s location. It would generate an estimated $6 billion over 42 years to fund expansion of the convention center, new services for the homeless, and street repairs.
“I you vote for Measure C tomorrow, tourists are the unsung heroes,” said Faulconer, urging San Diegans to vote ‘”yes” on Tuesday.