A proposal to ask San Diego voters to approve a half-cent sales tax increase -- a levy conditioned on the implement 11 fiscal reform measures -- gained the preliminary endorsement of the City Council Friday.
By a 6-2 majority, the Council directed the city attorney's office to draft a measure whose language would address a variety of legal issues raised during a 2.5-hour hearing at City Hall.
The Council has scheduled a special meeting Monday to review the proposal, which must be approved by Aug. 6 in order to be placed on the Nov. 2 ballot.
If voters ultimately approve the measure, San Diego's sales tax rate would increase to 9.25 cents on the dollar once the city auditor certifies that the fiscal reform provisions -- which call for further privatizing of city services and operations and reductions in labor costs -- have been met, and the City Council passes an ordinance to put the levy into effect.
The tax increase would generate an projected $103 million a year for the city's general fund. The city currently faces a $72 million budget shortfall for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2011.