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Public Policy Newsletter Article

San Diego Ballot Measure Would Create New Fee for Affordable Housing

  • 2020-07-30T15:00:00.000+0000
  • San Diego
  • Author: Melanie Cohn

On July 14th, San Diego City Council voted to place a measure on the November ballot to fund affordable housing units through a property tax increase. If passed by a two-thirds majority of city voters, the measure would help fund construction of roughly 7,500 new subsidized apartment units for veterans, senior citizens, the disabled, and low-income families.

The bond measure would cost property owners $19 per year for every $100,000 of assessed value. But owners would pay significantly less in the early years of the bond because fewer bonds will have been sold, creating less debt to be paid off.

Concerns about the new fee have been expressed regarding raising taxes during a pandemic, when people are already experiencing financial hardship. The business community has expressed interest in addressing “double dipping” on development projects that already pay affordable housing fees – a similar fee is already paid to the city via the affordable housing offset, or linkage fee.

Council voted 6-3 to place the measure on the ballot, the minimum number of votes required.