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Chula Vista mayor meets with PSAR members

posted Aug 12, 2016, 12:43 PM by Joyce Evans   [ updated Aug 12, 2016, 12:57 PM ]
Chula Vista Mayor Mary Casillas Salas recently met with PSAR members. The meeting, hosted by the PSAR South County Government Affairs Committee, included Salas discussing her support of a Chula Vista ballot measure to increase the city’s sales tax.
In November, Chula Vista residents will decide whether they want to pay for the city’s infrastructure needs through a 10-year sales tax increase. The increase would generate about $16 million each year, or about $177 million over 10 years, and would offset the city’s more than $550 million infrastructure deficit, according to city officials. As a general use tax, the approval requirement will be a simple majority, or 50 percent plus 1.
According to city staff, examples of streets needing major repair with potholes, cracks and uneven surface include Coltridge Lane from Trailridge Drive to Corral Canyon Road on the city’s east side, and Bonita Glen Drive from Bonita Road to Vista Drive on the west. The older city streets are badly deteriorated, and in newer areas streets must be maintained before they deteriorate and become more expensive to fix later.
In addition, aging police and firefighting vehicles, equipment and technology need to be replaced or upgraded. Some city firetrucks are nearly 30 years old. Also, most of the city’s storm drain system must be repaired or replaced before pipes collapse, creating sinkholes, flooding, pollution, property damage or injuries, city officials said.
If approved by voters, the sales tax in Chula Vista would increase from 8 percent to 8.5 percent over the next 10 years.
In addition, the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) has sponsored a countywide, 40-year, half-cent sales tax measure on the November ballot. If both measures pass, the sales tax in Chula Vista would be 8.75 percent. National City has the county’s highest sales tax at a 9 percent. If neither sales tax measure passes, both the city’s nor SANDAG’s, then the sales tax in Chula Vista would become 7.75 as of Jan. 1, 2017, due to the elimination of the state’s temporary sales tax.
Salas was elected mayor in November 2014 following her election to the city council in 2012. She previously served on the council from 1996 to 2004 and is a former state assemblywoman who represented the 79th District.