Saturday, October 15, 2022

Raising Taxes and Counting to Two

Over the past four years there have been several votes that were 4-1 or 3-2 (where I was in the minority) so when it comes to placing a tax measure on the ballot to address our fiscal challenges, it may seem like a foregone conclusion that the majority will do whatever they want.  With the Council in its current composition unwilling to make cuts, the choice of raising taxes, cutting spending, or both, seems to get reduced down to just one option.  But the decision whether to place a tax measure on the ballot follows a different set of rules.

According to Government Code §53724  and Revenue and Taxation Code§7285.9, a two-thirds (2/3) vote of all members of the City Council is required to place a tax measure on the ballot.  Given there are 5 Councilmembers, 3 votes represent only 60% of the council which is less than the 2/3 threshold required.

This means that if just two Councilmembers are opposed to a tax measure, it will NOT move forward.  If elected, I will not support raising taxes except as a last resort. 

The city has a lot of work ahead to increase operational efficiency and fiscal discipline.  Unless and until that happens I will not support any revenue measure.  I know Kim Trupiano feels similarly.  If elected, Kim and I add up to two which shuts down the possibility of more taxes and we can instead, shift our focus away from squandering resources with useless surveys and trying to increase taxes and instead, focus on serious discussions about cost savings, efficiencies, and other ways to reduce our overall expenditures – what we should have been doing since I raised this issue back in the middle of 2021.