At Chula Vista Mayor Mary Castillos’ State of the City address Tuesday, she touted the success of Measure P, a half-cent sales tax increase that voters approved last year. The revenue from the tax has gone toward repairing roads, upgrading police, fire and paramedic equipment, vehicles and facilities, improving parks and recreation facilities and other infrastructure projects.
“This year we’re going to be paving 300 streets in Chula Vista,” Salas told NBC 7. “We’re buffing up the city and making it just the best place to live for our residents.”
She said putting a focus on economic development has paid off.
“We’re doing a lot on Third Avenue off the Broadway corridor, so as far as economic development in the city of Chula Vista we’re really getting a lot of activity, a lot of interesting businesses,” she said. “We’re seeing jobs come back to Chula Vista.”
Now the mayor is urging voters to support Measure A, which would raise the sales tax by another half-cent.
“What that will mean is the ability to hire 53 new public safety personnel and 36 firefighters," she explained. "We desperately need them in the city.”
Paula Whitsell won’t be voting for Measure A. She says while Measure P specifically earmarked taxpayer money for projects like road repairs and police equipment, money from Measure A could be spent on anything, like helping develop the massive resort hotel and convention center planned for the Bayfront.
“The structure of Measure A is completely different with no taxpayer protections,” she said. “It’s going to make it very difficult for working families and the working poor to be able to make ends meet.” She believes the city should fix the underfunded pension system first. “Instead of facing the problem and dealing with the issues, they're asking the citizens one more time to pay more in sales tax."
The San Diego County Taxpayers Association has also come out against the measure.
Mayor Castillos say the naysayers are wrong.
“Measure A is just like Measure P,” she explained. “There's no difference in the way that we've structured it.”
Soon Chula Vista residents will vote on whether they believe the measure is best for them.