By Ana Gómez Salcido
Chula Vista voters have approved a ten-year half-cent sales tax to fund high priority infrastructure needs. Collection of the sales tax will begin April 1, 2017. The sales tax is projected to raise a total of $165 million which will be used to upgrade police, paramedic and 9-1-1 equipment, vehicles and facilities; fund streets and sidewalks; replace storm drains to prevent sinkholes; improve parks; repair recreation facilities; and repair or replace other City infrastructure.
The age of big data has enabled the City to inventory and track individual assets, assess their condition and criticality, which provides the ability to make data driven decisions to prioritize use of the sales tax resources in a transparent fashion. Criticality takes into account the probability of failure and the consequence of failure of the asset. For example, failure of a fire truck to arrive in a timely fashion to an incident will score much higher than graffiti on a City building. The sales tax revenues generated over the ten-year timeframe could address all infrastructure assets designated with the highest probability of failure which, if not addressed, could result in significant impact to public safety response or availability of highly used community infrastructure. Measure P was supported by the San Diego County Taxpayers Association, the Chula Vista Chamber of Commerce, the Association of General Contractors – San Diego Chapter, and local public safety, business and community leaders.
“I thank the voters for their commitment to improving our infrastructure in Chula Vista,” said Chula Vista Mayor Mary Salas. “During the next 10 years, the temporary sales tax approved by voters will raise $178 million. On Tuesday, the City Council approved allocating an initial $3.2 million that is estimated to be collected April through June to fund police cars and fire engines, street repairs, 911 emergency communications equipment, and sports fields repairs. Our next step is to consider bond financing to advance $50 million in projects.”