How can you lose money running a golf course when the land is “free” and you pay zero property tax? You’d think you’d charge enough to pay for the operational costs of such an endeavor. Not so, apparently — if you’re government.
Indeed, the city of San Diego’s annual $2 million municipal golf course operating deficit is understated, as the city doesn’t include the unfunded pension, disability and employee retirement healthcare liabilities in its budget or income statement. If the operations of these two golf courses were leased out like the OTHER seven city golf links, there would be no such unfunded liabilities — and no deficits. Indeed, it’s a stark example of why we should probably contract out damn near every government function.
Kudos to San Diego City Councilwoman Lorie Zapf for suggesting this already-successful contracting option for the remaining two government-run, deficit-producing golf courses.
Of course, my IDEAL solution would be for the city to SELL the golf courses for a huge influx of funds to pay off most of the city’s unfunded pension liabilities, but apparently that’s “a bridge too far” for our politicians — and for our city duffers.
The U-T editorial below mirrors my opinions in this matter.