San Diego’s Balboa Park is turning 150 years old next year, and some parts of the park are definitely showing their age.
One group of San Diegans is hoping to pay for improvements by raising the hotel tax.
“We would propose a ballot initiative to raise roughly half a billion dollars or more by a one-and-a-half to a two-and-a-half percent increase in the hotel tax, for the benefit of Balboa Park,” said David Lundin, President of the Balboa Park Heritage Association.
The Association’s hotel tax proposal is separate from a hotel tax proposal to fund the expansion of the San Diego Convention Center, which is supported by Mayor Kevin Faulconer.
The city of San Diego has fallen behind on repairs and upgrades to Balboa Park. Past city audits shows that needed repairs could cost hundreds of millions of dollars. Mildew stains, and cracked walls could be seen on several buildings throughout the park.
Balboa Park entertains 10 million visitors a year.
The San Diego Tourism Authority opposes raising hotel taxes for Balboa Park. They say that money is needed for the convention center.
The Heritage Association is hoping to put their ballot initiative up for a vote in 2018.