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San Diego Union-Tribune: The Benefits and Risks of Measures C and D

by Debbie Benrey, published

San Diego, CALIF.- The two most discussed and perhaps most important measures to go before City of San Diego voters this November are C and D.

A look at the Measures and what they would mean for taxpayers was recently crafted by San Diego Union-Tribune Business writer Dan McSwain. McSwain compares the measures and their respective economic benefits and risks. Below is a look at the most critical questions and answers provided by the article.

Q: What else could go wrong ?

For Measure C McSwain writes: “If the convention center costs $600 million, that leaves $200 million to buy private land, move the bus yards, upgrade the Trolley station, remove contaminated soil … you get the picture.”

The City of San Diego could be on the hook for any cost overruns related to Measure C

For Measure D McSwain writes: “ [Measure D] shifts risk to the hotel industry to cover operations costs and capital expenses in the likely event the new center didn’t produce profits, as the old one has failed to do.”

Q: Either way you slice it, $1.15 billion under Measure C is a lot of public money. Is there an economic case?

For Measure C McSwain writes: “Construction would generate $2.1 billion in the regional economy and support 15,000 jobs. [According to economists], that barely moves the needle for the county’s $221 billion economy, which supports 1.4 million jobs.

For Measure D McSwain writes: “Measure D underscores what economists have been saying for years: Public funding for NFL stadiums have little to no lasting economic impact, especially compared to other uses for tax dollars such as education.”

Measure D’s signature legacy is in its higher education and parkland component for Mission Valley.

Q: What happens to Qualcomm Stadium if either passes?

For Measure D McSwain writes: “If San Diego is lucky, city leaders will agree to tear down the old venue and donate or sell the land to San Diego State University or UC San Diego. Both universities need room to add full-time students and research space, an outcome that would boost the regional economy for generations. Measure D has specific provisions that encourage the city to redevelop Qualcomm’s 166 acres for a park and higher education.”

Mission Valley isn’t contemplated for Measure C.

To read the entire article click here.

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