For weeks Downtown has been pushing for passage of Measure B and the repeal of the People’s Ordinance. And during that time I’ve been saying, in public and as part of my ballot statement, there’s no reason to impose a “trash tax” on voters.
Check out my recent appearance on KUSI regarding the Trash Tax.
The reality is two wrongs don’t make a right. Levying a secondary tax on single-family homeowners – especially in this economy with $6 per gallon gasoline, the highest water and sewage rates in the state, the highest electricity rates in the U.S. courtesy of San Diego Gas and Electric, and the return of rising interest rates – is unfair and wrong.
I support reform of the People’s Ordinance, and I have said on the record that a credit to condominium owners on their property taxes noting their HOA utilizes a third-party trash service should suffice to make the process fair. You don’t need a ballot measure to do that.
Put simply, Measure B is not reform, and there’s no limit on the amount the city can charge because any number can be justified as “cost recovery.” In the wake of the 101 Ash Street and Gold Coast Drive bicycle lane debacles, we already know there’s no accountability at City Hall. And with the Trash Tax, there’s no safeguards or oversight.
And where will the money from the Trash Tax go? Will it be spent on solar panels and strategies to meet our Climate Action Plan goals, or to rebuild and repave broken streets in Mira Mesa? Or will it simply go to the same folks Downtown who have led us to where we are now to cover the budget shortfall resulting from the $86 million 101 Ash Street settlement?
But don’t take my word for it. As the San Diego Union-Tribune notes in its Oct. 22nd endorsement of the No on B position, it’s about extra revenue, not fairness:
“The assertion that single-family homeowners must stop receiving ‘free’ service ignores the property taxes they pay for a century-old service. And the insinuation that the law is just another example of how the wealthy insulate themselves from fees the less affluent pay is just not true.”
Single-family homes pay $100 million more each year into the city general fund than multi-family units. That’s more than double the cost to fund the entire trash service budget. Those who believe our neighbors in District 6 – and throughout the city – who own and reside in single-family homes are simply all out of touch and affluent freeloaders should pay my community a visit to meet some of our working and older neighbors on fixed incomes, who pay a far higher percentage of property taxes, and twice the water and sewage rate of condos.
When it comes to the issues, I’m proud to be on the side of the middle class, not the out-of-touch politicians and Downtown elites supporting my opponent. In calling for a greater emphasis on community-driven planning in conjunction with new housing, ensuring maximum affordability is in the DNA of any housing proposal, and that we’re ensuring new parks of significant size, fire stations, and schools are included as part of any new development, our Neighborhoods First campaign has consistently stood with residents.
I will always defer to our neighbors, to ratepayers, and to our environment. And now more than ever, I need your help to bring our Neighborhoods First campaign over the finish line. Help us close our financial gap by making a contribution today.