Sunday, January 25, 2015
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

    Four days of unusual, adventuresome music

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Red Cross honors community heroes

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Bridges of Yolo County: Wear, tear … repair?

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Spanish police arrest 4 suspected members of a jihadi cell

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Rockets kill 30 in Ukrainian city as rebels launch offensive

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Abe ‘speechless’ after video claims IS hostage dead

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    GOP presses state bills limiting gay rights before ruling

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Abortion opponents express renewed hope at California rally

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Fake schools draw federal scrutiny

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Winter produce available at Sutter market

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Sip wines at St. James’ annual tasting

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Logos Books celebrates 5 years, offers language groups

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Australian olive oil company opens U.S. headquarters in Woodland

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Explore at the YOLO Outdoor Expo

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Pedal around Davis on weekly bike ride

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Donations to be distributed during homeless count

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

     
    Speaker will share computer security tips

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Yolo animal shelter seeking rawhide donations

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A5

     
    Woodland Healthcare employees take Great Kindness Challenge

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    At the Pond: Nest boxes give birds new homes

    By Jean Jackman | From Page: A6 | Gallery

     
    California ranks worst in nation for guidance counselors

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

    Music and Words Festival events

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A12

     
    Davis, Woodland are saving water

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A12

    .

    Forum

    Family isn’t keen on relationship

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A8

     
     
    Caring for the aging mouth

    By Samer Alassaad | From Page: A8

    Rick McKee cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

     
    Big utilities’ nightmare begins to play out

    By Tom Elias | From Page: A10

    Mayor’s Corner: Let’s renew Davis together

    By Dan Wolk | From Page: A10

     
    We have the right to choose

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    We don’t have to suffer

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    City helped immensely

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    When measles spreads from Disneyland, it’s a small world after all

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A11

     
    From innovation parks to innovative buildings and planning

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

    .

    Sports

    Lady Devils hold off Pacers, stay perfect in league

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Wildcats’ inaugural kids development league exceeds expectations

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Aggies get top 2015 gymnastics score, but fall short

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Loud crowd sees DHS boys win

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    UCD men take two tennis matches

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

     
    Watney in ninth at Humana Challenge

    By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B8

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

     
    UCD grad makes insurance ‘hot 100′ list

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Yolo County real estate sales

    By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A9

     
    Davis man focusing on cannabidiol business

    By Will Bellamy | From Page: A9

    Marrone Bio’s Regalia approved for new uses in Canada

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Thomas George Byrne

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, January 25, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B8