Sunday, April 19, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Council on taxes: We need more options, outreach

By
From page A1 | January 29, 2014 |

The Davis City Council bought time Tuesday night to wait until the last minute to place taxes on the June ballot that could shore up city finances temporarily.

What the members bought with that time are options to place a companion measure on the ballot that specifies — in a non-legally binding way — what the money will be used for, a chance to mull how to do outreach to the community and a shorter lifespan for the taxes. The council also wants to emphasize to voters the city’s determination to build a business park that could bring in the necessary tax income for the long term.

The council is considering placing a three-quarter-cent addition to the sales tax on the June ballot and a $150-per-year parcel tax on the November ballot. The estimated $5.4 million in annual sales taxes receipts will go toward covering a $5.1 million structural deficit brought on by wages and benefit costs as well as various other soaring costs like a $2 million debt service for infrastructure. The rest would be placed in a rainy-day fund. This tax will require a simple majority of voters to pass it.

The city says the parcel tax would bring in $4.1 million annually for roads, park capital improvements and benefits like pool funding and the purchase of Nugget Fields from the school district. It would require a two-thirds yes vote to pass.

Each council member had something to add to the options city staff will be bringing back on Feb. 11, the last chance the council would have to meet deadlines for the June 3 ballot.

Councilwoman Rochelle Swanson pushed for more aggressive language telling voters the city would pursue economic development, but not just in a technology park. A change in the downtown core may have to take place for more income-generating business to locate in Davis, she said.

“It’ going to take more than boutiques and restaurants,” Swanson said, adding that the language of the economic development pledge would be a crucial message to voters. “I do think that our community wants to get behind us, but I do think they need something more.”

Councilman Lucas Frerichs worried that other alternatives hadn’t been pursued, such as hotel occupancy taxes, and the absence of that pursuit could be a hole in the city’s argument for new taxes. Similarly, he worried that Measure J/R votes required for most land on which the technology park would be built could make the economic development pledge risky.

More so, he worried that increases in water and sewer rates taking effect now will make Davis residents tighten their pocketbooks when it comes to approving new taxes.

Some members of the public criticized the city’s policy of slow growth for killing the housing development industry in Davis and thus a source of income for the city.

Councilman Brett Lee fired back at that notion, saying city analyses had shown housing to be revenue-neutral, in other words, not a good source of income.

Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kemble Pope read the results of a survey of Chamber members on the tax issue that showed 60 percent of respondents said yes to a question about whether the city should keep cutting rather than levying more taxes.

“This I don’t think is going to fly with the community,” he said.

Lee launched a broadside at that sentiment, saying the survey was too vague in its wording and asked the wrong questions. It should have asked whether people want their roads paved and want to have access to parks and recreation programs, he said, adding that roads and pools have deteriorated over the past 20 years.

“Perhaps the medicine is that we do something that is unpopular at first glance,” Lee said. “(We need to ask) what is it about Davis that makes it Davis?”

Mayor Pro Tem Dan Wolk seemed to call out past councils, saying this council would not “kick the can down the road.”

The city could cut the $5.1 million, but he said he didn’t have a sense that was what the community wants to do, plus there are real long-term projects that need financing. Wolk even proposed adding to an existing parks parcel tax so it could go on the June ballot with the sales tax. That way, voters could decide in one fell swoop.

City Manager Steve Pinkerton said he would add that to the list of options for council consideration in February.

Mayor Joe Krovoza took the various comments and unified them for the city staff to understand, noting there was support on the council to move forward with tax measures, but it needs more options on the table for debate at the Feb. 11. meeting. That also would give the public more chance to weigh in, he noted. Krovoza also said he is interested in seeing the sales tax be on the books for less than 10 years.

At least four members of the council must agree to move the tax issue to the ballot.

— Reach Dave Ryan at 530-747-8057.  Follow him at 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

    Aggie Pride on parade at UC Davis Picnic Day

    By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    City wants a study of sewer rates

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

    Hard-of-hearing student needs community’s help

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    KDVS fund drive includes on-air pledging, plus parties and food

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
     
    Art helped sell California’s agriculture

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

     
    Sign up now for Celebrate Davis!

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4Comments are off for this post

    Students, families can get after-hours Internet access

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Lawyers seek resolution to Davis molest case

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A4

    Garamendi hosts conference for women

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    ‘Invaluable public servant’ retires after 20 years

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Your brain’s aging and a new report urges ways to stay sharp

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

     
    Injury-proof yourself for effective exercise

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Understanding risks can help women prevent leading health threats

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

     
    Get some advice at Connections Café

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

    Eyewitness speaks about Israel’s election

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    Free gardening advice offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

    Grad Night tickets on sale online

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

     
    Schenker speaks about ‘Magical Mexico’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

     
    Yolo County DA honors crime victims at annual tribute

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

    Holman offers Publishing 101 seminar

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

     
    Radio-controlled airplanes will race April 25-26

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

    Vote with your dollars at Davis Food Co-op

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

     
    Woodland bike rides set every Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

    Join the 10,000-vegetable challenge!

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9Comments are off for this post

     
    NAMI group offers family support

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Birding tour will benefit Putah Creek Council

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10 | Gallery

     
    Watershed Wonders activities return to Putah Creek

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

    Yolo County Neighborhood Court seeks new volunteers

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

     
    UCD looks at building a better brain as we age

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    ‘Vault’ highlights ‘Kathak’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    Two drought-preparedness water bills pass out of Senate committees

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

    Picnic Day favorites: dogs, bikes science

    By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A13 | Gallery

     
    Strike up the band, and the bubbles!

    By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A14 | Gallery

    .

    Forum

    Ready for the parting glass

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
     
    John Cole cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: B6

    Yolo Crisis Nursery still needs help

    By Our View | From Page: B6

     
    Drink up, kids, but make your choice a healthy one

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B6

    Leash your dogs; it’s the law

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B6

     
    Speak out

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: B7

    Let’s not turn our backs on the Earth

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B7

     
    This Earth Day, make a pledge to cool your home

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B7

    .

    Sports

    Fast Aggie start negated by 14-0 USC lacrosse run

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Stagnant second-half offense sinks Devil girls

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Over the hump? DHS baseball team wins late

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Lambdin, Marshall lead Aggies at Mt. SAC

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Republic FC gets another win at Bonney

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B2

     
    UCD roundup: Aggies sweep a water polo double dip

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Busy Clancy, Hall spark Devil tracksters at Mt. SAC

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    Former DHS star Drexel returns to create havoc for Aggies

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B4 | Gallery

    Pro baseball roundup: Oakland blanks Kansas City

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B14

     
    Sports briefs: Blue Devils split a pair of tennis matches

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B14 | Gallery

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    New phase opens at Brookfield Cottages

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12

     
    Tucos closes; new Japanese, pizza, subs debut

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A12 | Gallery

    WISH grant funds available to eligible homebuyers

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A12

     
    Marrone Bio Innovations strengthens its sales team

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12

    .

    Obituaries

    Alice Catherine Micheltorena

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Jody Zewe

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Herman Timm

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Ruth Rodenbeck Stumpf

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Robert Leigh Cordrey

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, April 19, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B8