Talks are continuing on a potential settlement of a citizen group’s lawsuit related to the funding mechanism for the San Diego Tourism Marketing District.
“The Mayor, City Attorney and tourism officials met Friday (April 15) on a variety of topics including the status of litigation,” said Craig Gustafson, press secretary for Mayor Kevin Faulconer, in a statement on April 18. “All agreed to having a follow-up meeting again in the coming weeks.”
The city-approved Tourism Marketing District, backed by hotel operators, was started in 2008 to support local visitor promotion and is funded through a 2 percent tax on room bills. A lawsuit recently filed by attorney Cory Briggs, who represents San Diegans for Open Government, challenges the validity of its funding mechanism on the grounds that it was not approved by city taxpayers.
On April 12, Briggs said TMD officials had agreed to potential settlement terms, which have yet to be disclosed publicly. On the same day, Tourism Marketing District leaders issued their own statement, saying no official action related to the suit has been approved by the district or its executive board.
“The TMD folks state there was no settlement and that is still true,” said Gerry Braun, spokesman for City Attorney Jan Goldsmith, on April 18. “The mayor and TMD directors will meet again in a few weeks.”