City Council to Look at Extending Sales Tax, Changing Commission Appointments

With many contests and challenges coming up on the March 3, 2020 election, the Culver City City Council is considering the addition of another item; asking the voters to approve the continuation at the half-cent sales tax added on by Measure Y in 2012. The creation of a new commission and the possible end of another will also be discussed at tonight’s council meeting.

As Item A-2, the council will be considering the creation of an Equity and Human Relations Commission, which could entail significant changes to several standard practices on council appointments; the newly minted commission would have nine members instead of the usual five, and would be open to residents of Culver City, rather than registered voters, as has previously been the rule. The creation of this commission is structured to replace the current Civil Service Commission in the coming year.

Item A-4 addresses the tax issue, with five resolutions needing to be adopted to get the tax on the ballot, including a unanimous vote from the council declaring a fiscal emergency. The emergency that the city is obliged to deal with is the state pension liability that has saddled many municipalities with big bills from the California Public Employees Retirement System – CalPERS.

The half-cent sales tax currently brings in approximately $10 million annually, while the city must pay more than $20 million this year to service the payment to the pension fund. The amount needed next year is expected to be significantly higher, and the loss of the Measure Y income may handicap the city’s ability to stay current.

Measure Y was passed with a ‘sunset clause,’  a pre-scheduled end, which is what the city is now seeking to reverse.  If the council does approve getting the tax on the March ballot, it will be up to the voters to approve of extending the tax.

The Culver City Council will meet on Oct. 28, 2019 at 7 pm in the Mike Balkman Council Chambers at City Hall, at 9770 Culver Blvd.

Judith Martin-Straw

 

 

 

www.culvercitysymphony.org

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