Council postpones hearing on sales-tax measure

The City Council on Monday postponed a hearing on whether place a measure on the November ballot asking San Diego voters to approve a half-cent sales tax increase that would be levied only if a set of financial reform milestones are met.

Delaying the issue until Wednesday morning was expected to give City Attorney Jan Goldsmith more time to finalize the proposed ballot language and conclude his legal analysis.

Goldsmith wanted clarification from the City Council on a provision that would mandate the implementation of the city’s managed competition outsourcing program. He also looked to tweak language related to the establishment of a 401(k)-style voluntary pension plan so that it complies with Internal Revenue Service rules.

On Friday, the City Council agreed in principle to put the half-cent sales tax increase on the November ballot. Council members Carl DeMaio and Kevin Faulconer cast the opposing votes.

If approved by voters, the sales tax increase would generate about $103 million annually.

Before the tax could be levied, the city auditor would have to confirm that 10 financial and pension reform benchmarks have been completed.