The Sebastopol City Council plans to ask voters this fall for a hand in putting the city on stronger financial footing, through two tax measures expected to share ballot space with a proposed hike in the county sales tax, city officials said.
Spider webbing and alligator hide aren’t just found in the animal kingdom. In Healdsburg, city engineers use those terms to describe the cracks and patterns in some of the town’s most deteriorated streets.
In what had become an increasingly foregone development, the Rohnert Park City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to ask city voters to extend Measure E, a half-cent sales tax that was passed in 2010 and originally intended to expire in 2015.
Facing a $1.4 million budget deficit, Rohnert Park officials have in recent weeks laid the groundwork to ask voters later this year to extend Measure E, the half-cent city sales tax they approved in 2010.
Healdsburg soon will reap extra revenue from a half-cent sales tax increase approved by voters. But how should that million bucks or so be spent? The answer from a survey of residents was overwhelmingly clear: fix the streets.
Santa Rosa City Schools is examining the options of reinstating up to three classroom days to the current school year and returning the budgetary reserve to 3 percent in the wake of Proposition 30′s passage last week. Proposition 30 temporarily increases the state sales tax by a quarter-cent and income taxes on the wealthy by 1 to 3 percent, staving off what Gov. Jerry Brown said would have been $4.8 billion in cuts to K-12 education in the current school year.
In a public presentation that was intended to avoid advocacy, Healdsburg officials on Tuesday said the proposed half-cent sales tax hike on next week’s election ballot will help avoid deep cuts to core services. City Manager Marjie Pettus said Measure V, which would raise an estimated $1 million annually for 10 years, ‘will help us maintain services and put programs and services that were previously cut back into the budget.’
Higher tax revenues from the improving economy combined with cost savings from employee concessions should put Santa Rosa in the black for the third year in a row. The city should end this fiscal year with $17.8 million in reserves, the first time in five years it has hit its goal of having at least 15 percent of its general fund set aside for emergencies.
A Town Hall meeting next week on a proposed sales tax increase in Healdsburg is billed as strictly informational, hosted by city staff to explain the ballot measure. But Tim Meinken, the only City Council candidate opposed to the sales tax hike, is skeptical that top city officials can give a balanced presentation on the topic. ‘I find it hard to believe they will present just the facts,’ said Meinken, who was rebuffed in his request to be a speaker at Tuesday’s 6 p.m. meeting at City Hall.