With all the talk of increasing the hotel-room tax (officially, the transient occupancy tax), we figured now was as good a time as ever to highlight the small slush fund--I mean, discretionary funds provided to elected officials out of the revenues.
Each member of the City Council and the mayor gets approximately $25,000 annually to dole out in discretionary grants to cultural programs. This is where City Council President Tony Young got the money to fund Praise Fest (covered in this week's CityBeat). The tax is also a major source of funding for the San Diego Asian Film Festival, which received $30,000 in TOT grants from four different members of the council in 2010 and 2011. Even self-proclaimed "Taxpayer Watchdog" Carl DeMaio is in on the spending action.
Below you'll find a spreadsheet of each council office's spending, broken down by pet projects: ---
Quick note: In certain cases the recipient is not the actual name of the project. For example, Praise Fest was funded through the Jacobs Center.