Transit Oriented Tax (TOT) Fact Sheet Released by Mayor Faulconer

Clairemont Times File Photo

PR The ballot measure would raise the transient occupancy tax (TOT) paid by tourists staying overnight in San Diego by up to 3 percent to fund the convention center expansion, hundreds of millions of dollars in street repairs and programs to reduce homelessness. Mayor Faulconer will ask the City Council to call a November special election for San Diegans to vote on the initiative – which requires a two-thirds voter majority to pass.


  • Raise the Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) paid by hotel visitors to tackle three of San Diego’s most critical issues:

o   Modernize and expand the San Diego Convention Center to boost the local economy and create jobs

o   Fix streets in dire need of repair in every neighborhood

o   Save taxpayer money by investing in effective solutions that help the homeless

  • Supported by lodging and tourism officials because San Diego is currently losing conventions to other markets
  • Mayor requesting special election this year due to San Diego’s homeless crisis, the need for road repair and the fact that delays to the convention center expansion are increasing project costs by more than $1 million each month
  • Keeps San Diego’s TOT rate below key competitors such as Los Angeles, Orange County, San Francisco and Orlando
  • Voter approval guarantees funds cannot be diverted by City Hall or Sacramento

 Modernization and Expansion of the San Diego Convention Center

  • Raise the TOT to fund the contiguous, waterfront convention center expansion using a “3-2-1” tax structure:

o   Tier 1 – All lodging businesses Citywide would be subject to a 1 percent TOT increase (1 percent total)

o   Tier 2 – All lodging businesses located south of Highway 56 and north of Highway 54 would be subject to an additional 1 percent in addition to the Tier 1 rate (2 percent total)

o   Tier 3 – All lodging business located in the downtown area would be subject to a further additional 1 percent TOT increase in addition to the Tier 1 and Tier 2 rates (3 percent total)

  • Add 400,000 square feet of rentable exhibit, ballroom and meeting space to the existing facility
  • Create thousands of construction jobs and nearly 7,000 permanent jobs bring in millions in tax revenue to support San Diego’s neighborhoods
  • Generate $509 million in direct spending at local businesses, and have a regional impact of $860 million
  • Generate more than 380,000 new hotel rooms annually for the San Diego market from convention attendees, providing approximately $15 million additional TOT to the City’s General Fund for critical public benefits and core City services
  • Move forward with expansion option that is preferred choice of Comic-Con and other large conventions
  • Allow Convention Center to attract approximately 50 more annual events and more than 33,000 attendees, bringing the average total attendance to over 1.1 million
  • Provide numerous public benefit features including a sustainably designed 5-acre rooftop public park, increased public access to the waterfront and a rerouting of truck traffic from pedestrians and visitor vehicles along the waterfront
  • Give San Diego the opportunity to retain existing conventions and attract new and larger conventions
  • Support debt service for a Phase III expansion estimated between $630 million and $685 million for design and construction
  • Provide additional revenue to support capital needs and operating and maintenance at the entire Convention Center facility over the life of the levy

Repair San Diego’s Streets

  • Use a portion of the TOT to create a dedicated revenue stream of about $10 million for road repair
  • Revenue stream increases as TOT grows over time to fix hundreds of miles of streets
  • Help maintain streets fixed in recent years so they don’t fall into despair
  • Generate revenue exceeding $150 million for road repair over 10 years, increasing to approximately $900 million in total revenue for street repair over 40 years

o   Allows the City Council to leverage $10 million in annual revenue to issue tax-exempt bonds to generate $150 million in FY 2019 for street repair

  • Increase general road infrastructure, concrete replacement and right-of-way improvements

Save Taxpayer Money by Investing in Solutions that Reduce Homelessness

  • Fiscally responsible solution as studies show that it is less expensive to provide housing for the homeless than pay for emergency services, hospital visits and law enforcement
  • Create City’s first dedicated revenue stream for homelessness issues
  • Generate revenue exceeding $150 million for homelessness over 10 years, increasing to approximately $900 million in total revenue for homeless programs over 40 years

o   Allows the City Council to leverage approximately $10 million to issue taxable bonds to generate $140 million in FY 2019 for homeless programs

More than triples the City’s current General Fund contribution for homeless funding

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