The San Diego City Council on Tuesday will consider a resolution to retroactively declare approval of Measure C, which would tax hotel visitors to expand the downtown convention center and fund homeless programs.
Voters approved the measure by 65.2% to 34.8% in March 2020, but the margin was just shy of the two-thirds majority traditionally needed for tax increases.
However, a series of new court rulings, which the state Supreme Court corroborated in September, concluded that the two-thirds requirement only applies to new taxes requested by local governments, not to taxes sought by citizen initiative.
Measure C was introduced by the citizen group Yes! For a Better San Diego, and was backed by then Mayor Kevin Faulconer, former Mayor Jerry Sanders, the convention industry and organized labor.
“We need to make sure our councilmembers hear the need for the approval of this measure loud and clear: it’s never been a more critical time,” said Sanders, president of CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, in a message to businesses on Monday.
By raising the transient occupancy tax that is paid by guests who stay overnight at hotels, the measure would generate $4.0 billion for the convention center, $2.1 billion for homelessness programs, and $700 million for street repairs over a 42-year-period.
City officials have sought for years to expand the convention center so that it can continue to host Comic-Con and other large meetings.