City Council Seems to be Hedging on Pursuit of Elk Grove Sales Tax Hike

Elk Grove Vice Mayor Darren Suen (left) and Council Member Pat Hume. | 

March 30, 2018 |

Though the conversation lasted for barely one minute, the Elk Grove City Council appeared to be backing away from the pursuit of placing a sales tax hike proposal on this year's general election ballot. That revelation came during the Wednesday, March 28 city council meeting. 

At the conclusion of her administrative report, city manager Laura Gill asked the council members if they wanted city staff to continue working on a possible sales tax proposal. Gill's question came after the council's February 28 meeting where they instructed Gill to keep working with two outside contractors who were gauging public support for a possible sales tax increase.

"As the council discusses future agenda items, staff would like the city council to indicate whether it would like to reconsider its direction of February 28th for staff to continue its work on the potential sales tax measure," Gill said. (see video below). 

Following her comment, Vice Mayor Darren Suen immediately indicated he would support killing the efforts.  

"Just on your last question, it looks like we got a lot of things going on here, I'd be happy, I'd be willing to postpone the council's last direction if my colleagues agree with me on the tax measure," Suen said.

Following Suen, Council Member Pat Hume did not say whether he would support dropping the matter but noted that it would need to be placed on a future agenda for consideration. "I think we have to bring it back for a discussion," Hume said.  

At the February 28 meeting, Hume, Suen, Mayor Steve Ly, and Council Member Stephanie Nguyen indicated they wanted the city staff to continue work with those outside contractors and were inclined to pursue placing the sales tax hike on the November ballot. The only dissent came from Council Member Steve Detrick who said he opposes the pursuit of a sales tax hike.

Separate from this proceeding, Elk Grove News has submitted a public records request with the city seeking invoice for services and correspondence between the city and the two contractors, Godbe Research and Clifford Moss, hired to gauge public support. Those records are expected to be released by April 20.







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2 comments

Josie said...

It has always been my thought that building cities around sales tax is a dumb system. The problem with sales tax based cities is that building more retail does not automatically mean more tax revenue. You only have so many dollars to spend and this only gives you more choices on where to spend.

One problem I see here in Elk Grove is the building in an unproductive pattern that comes nowhere near paying for itself.

Connie said...

Translation from where I sit: City Manager Laura Gill was trying to quasi articulate in a sheepish way that they have failed, and that there is little hope of Elk Grove City Council being successful in the future of passing a sales tax increase.

How much did this little exercise in futility cost the taxpayers? Since the Elk Grove City Council and/or city staff won’t volunteer that info at council meetings, a records request will fill in the blanks. Looking forward, or NOT, to knowing how much additional money will be added to the "more wasted taxpayers' money” category.

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