LOS ANGELES — San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer wants to ask voters for a new ballot measure to pay for a convention center expansion, road repairs and homeless programs.
Faulconer also said goodbye to the city's professional football team in his State of the City address Thursday night.
"San Diego is a great city and we will move forward. San Diego didn't lose the Chargers, the Chargers lost San Diego."
The team's owner was never serious about staying in the city, the mayor said.
"At the end of the day, Dean Spanos was never willing to work with us on a stadium solution and demanded a lot more money than we could have ever agreed to," Faulconer said.
The city's previous efforts to fund a convention center expansion were overshadowed by efforts to try to retain the professional football team.
San Diego voters in November rejected a tax measure to provide more than $1 billion of subsidies for a downtown Chargers stadium and convention center expansion.
Faulconer's ballot measure would increase lodging revenue to build a waterfront expansion of the San Diego Convention Center and create dedicated funding streams for road repair and homelessness.
"This is going to be good for our tourism economy, good for our infrastructure and good for our city,"Faulconer said. "I will present this measure to the City Council this year so they can place it on the ballot. Together, we will invest in helping the homeless – and save taxpayers money. Together, we will pave our roads. Together, we will finally expand San Diego's convention center."
Faulconer told the San Diego Union Tribune that he would likely propose a lodging tax increase from 12.5% to 16% that could bring in between $60 million and $70 million per year.
To reduce homelessness, the mayor will seek proposals to build and operate a new homeless assessment center and identify a new facility to add hundreds of beds for the homeless on a nightly basis.
The city has fixed more than 640 miles of streets during Faulconer's three years in office, the mayor said, adding that more work remains.