Assembly candidates Mary England and Shirley Weber last week revisited the Lemon Grove City Council’s August 2010 decision against placing a half-penny sales tax hike before city voters.
England’s lone dissenting vote on the City Council kept the measure from being placed on the ballot, as U-T San Diego reported.
In an East County Magazine report posted Oct. 12, Democrat Weber was quoted as saying: “People have the right to assess themselves. When I was on the [San Diego] school board, we put two bond measures on the ballot and designed and promoted them so people could see what they were going to get. We even convinced the whole city of San Diego to pay for new schools south of I-8 on the ground that their educational success would affect the lives of all San Diegans.”
Republican England, the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce executive seeking the 79th Assembly District seat, told the website the reason she didn’t join three other council members in putting the sales tax increase on the ballot was that “the number of signatures needed did not happen. The business community, including our large car dealerships, was totally against it. They came out in force during our City Council meeting.”
She argued that major Lemon Grove employer DCH Honda—where she later would announce her Assembly candidacy—and other car dealerships said a tax increase would kill them.
“That is democratic,” England was quoted as saying. “That is what we get elected to do. We’re elected to make informed decisions based on what people want. Lemon Grove’s eggs are in one basket: our largest income source is car dealerships. I always believe taxes should be raised as a last resort, not the first resort.”
East County Magazine noted that England had earlier supported a bond measure to modernize schools in her area, saying: “In November 1998, she shepherded the campaign that got 81 percent of Lemon Grove School District voters to approve the bond proposal.”
The 2010 proposal would have raised Lemon Grove’s sales tax from from 8.75 percent to 9.25 percent.