The City Council Tuesday night voted to place a 1 percent sales tax increase on the November 2016 election ballot.
The vote by the council, approved 4-1 with Councilman Mark McCurdy voting no, will let the city’s registered voters decide on the proposed increase in the Nov. 8 General Election.
Since 1992, the state has taken about $116 million in local tax dollars from Fountain Valley, said city Finance Director David Cain.
In a report to the City Council, Cain said the city continues to lose another $3 million every year in general fund property tax revenues and about $8 million in Redevelopment Tax Increment. Additionally, the city's general fund is required to absorb another $1.2 million in redevelopment obligations because of the state’s dissolution of redevelopment agencies by the state in 2012.
“To be blunt, the city has been running a structural deficit for the last three years and if we do not act to reverse this trend this will threaten our fiscal sustainability,” said City Manager Bob Hall in a press release.
Hall added: “The City Council and city staff has worked hard to save money by cutting city employee health plans, raising employee contributions to their pensions, and reducing the number of city employees.
“We have informed the community that unless additional revenue is identified, we potentially have to close fire station No. 2, cut the number of police and firefighters and cut or severely reduce recreational programs for children and seniors,” Hall added.
About a dozen residents addressed the council on the issue Tuesday night and all said they supported the tax increase, most noting that a 1 cent increase on $1 spent would have the least impact on residents.
If approved by the voters the funding would pay for such city services such as police and fire, street repair and maintenance, and maintaining local flood drains and parks.
For more information regarding Fountain Valley’s 2016-2017 budget, go to the city’s web site, www.fountainvalley.org.