Friday, August 22, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

City to consider placing tax on ballot

By
From page A1 | June 08, 2014 |

Learn more

What: Davis City Council meeting
When: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Community Chambers, City Hall, 23 Russell Blvd.

Watch it: Live on Comcast Channel 16 or AT&T U-Verse Channel 99, or as streaming video at www.cityofdavis.org/media

With one tax passed June 3, the City Council may press for another in November.

Fresh from the victory of Measure O, the half-percent sales tax hike that will help the city cover part of a deficit in its operating budget, the City Council may place another tax on the November ballot to deal with Davis’ crumbling infrastructure.

Measure O raised the city sales tax rate from 8 percent to 8.5 percent and eventually will generate an estimated $3.6 million in yearly revenue. But although a group supporting the sales tax advertised it as paying for “vital repairs to our roads, sidewalks and bike paths,” it can be of only limited help in those areas, especially while the city tackles its long-term strategy of building innovation centers to bring in jobs and tax revenue.

The City Council must find another way to fund pressing repairs to its crumbling infrastructure, from roads to a new downtown fire station.

City staff is recommending that the council place some kind of ballot measure — a parcel tax or general tax measure — on the ballot either in November or as late as June 2016 if it’s a general tax.

The type of tax is important because it determines the risk of it passing muster with voters. Parcel taxes are temporary taxes attached to a property tax bill that require a two-thirds vote of the people. A general tax, such as a utility users tax described in the staff report, could pass with a simple majority.

“Utility users tax is easy to collect and administer, it tracks with inflation, it applies to a broad range of the population (e.g., homeowners, renters, businesses) and it is not as sensitive to economic downturns as the other general taxes,” the report said. “The tax may be levied on electricity, gas, garbage, water, communications, sewer and/or cable television.

“The 2012 State Controller’s Report identifies 145 California cities that have a utility users tax with rates that range from 1 to 10 percent, with most ranging between 3 and 7 percent.”

Importantly, Interim City Manager Gene Rogers, the author of the staff report, has wide-ranging experience helping to pass utility users taxes in budget-challenged cities. He helped pass a tax in Moreno Valley and Coachella.

“To balance the budget without drawing on reserves is projected to require about $1 million per year,” Rogers notes. “In addition, as noted, there are significant unfunded maintenance, rehabilitation and other capital projects for which there in no available funding source.

“With the city’s annual general fund needs being several million dollars, increases in the business tax and transient occupancy wouldn’t generate enough revenue to do anything more than put a dent into the problem.”

With a sales tax just passed, that option is likely off the table for the time being. Rogers noted there are other pitfalls, too.

“A sales tax increase of one-quarter-cent would produce about $1.8 million annually,” he wrote. “The cumulative sales tax percentage, however, may be reaching a threshold where it is perceived to be on the high side.”

The city also might ask for an increase in the existing parks parcel tax, to take over the entire $6.9 million parks budget and release some general-fund money to pay for other needs.

The City Council also might not decide on an option right away. It could save further discussion for after a planned June 17 study session to analyze its choices further.

— Reach Dave Ryan at dryan@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8057. Follow him on Twitter at @davewritesnews

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    No easy task: History buffs still trying to save building

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    DHS musicians back from summer in Italy

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    City to overhaul its sprinkler heads, other water-wasters

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Davis indecent-exposure suspect pleads no contest

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    Not-guilty plea entered in Woodland homicide case

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    Russian aid convoy reaches war-torn Luhansk

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Yolo County golf tournament enters fourth year

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Putah Creek Council appoints new executive director

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A3

    Communitywide ice bucket challenge on Sunday

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

     
    Parents’ Night Out features Vacation Bible School

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Afternoon tours of city wetlands resume Sept. 6

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Prunes take center stage at last agri-tour of the summer

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    In need of food? Apply for CalFresh

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Can you give them a home?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Saylor will meet constituents at Peet’s

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Event will unveil mural celebrating food justice

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Explorit: Final Blast show returns for second year

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A5

    Wolk bill would require reporting of water system leaks

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    Writing couple stops at Davis bookstore

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Record drought saps California honey production

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

     
    World travelers

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    Seniors set to stroll through Arboretum

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    .

    Forum

    Weightlifters causing a racket

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    No support for militarization

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    A better use for this vehicle

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Police are our friends, right?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Wage plan has a big flaw

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Bridging the digital divide with computational thinking

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

    .

    Sports

    Watney and McIlroy struggle at start of The Barclays

    By Wire and staff reports | From Page: B1

     
    Light-hitting Cats fall

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Giants win nightcap in Chicago

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Watts likes what he’s seen in keen Aggie DB competition

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Sports briefs: Big West soccer coaches have high hopes for UCD men

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

     
    Davis Chinese Film Festival to kick off with 1994 favorite

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    Rock Band campers perform at E Street Plaza

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    Natsoulas to host mural conference

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

    Yolo Mambo to play free show

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    ‘If I Stay’: Existential angst

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11

    .

    Business

    Car Care: Teenagers not driving safe cars, study shows

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    Car Care: Feeling the summer heat? Your car battery is too

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

    Three-wheeled Elio gets closer to going on sale

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A12 | Gallery

     
    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, August 22, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6