Sales tax hike for Elk Grove, Cosumnes Community Services District to be explored - again

As part of yesterday's bi-annual Elk Grove City Council retreat meeting, the idea of seeking a local sales tax hike in Elk Grove in 2022 was proposed as a way of generating more cash for city projects.

That idea was presented by Elk Grove City Manager Jason Behrmann in the post-lunch session. In his presentation, Behrmann noted the city council had considered the idea in 2018 but decided not to pursue it after determining it could not reach the two-thirds majority needed for voter approval. 

"Staff, at this time would like to propose revisiting the idea, at least a discussion," Behrmann said. "Beginning with community outreach, engaging conversations to see how the community feels about that concept now."

Additionally, Behrman suggested the sales tax hike could be done in cooperation with the Cosumnes Community Services District. 

"They also have lots of needs and community things that they are trying to address," he said. "So we would propose as part of these broader discussions, that broad list of community services be included in the discussion which includes things the CSD provides."

Saying timing is everything, Elk Grove Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen noted the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic could present challenges for generating community support. She did say she would support the exploration for future consideration.

"I think 2022 would be a little ambitious," she said. 

In his comments, District 1 Councilmember Darren Suen said he would support approving funds in next year's fiscal year's budget to conduct outreach. He also noted part of that effort needs to demonstrate to taxpayers the city has appropriately managed its finances. 

"They should also understand what we have done right, in terms of funding our pension obligations, saving for a rainy day, and then having economic development funds on top of that," Suen said. "We should share with them the full story."

After receiving support for his idea, Behrmann said funds would be included in the fiscal year 2022 budget to gauge community support. He did not specify how the money would be spent, but in past efforts, the city employed pollsters and public relations consultants to generate support.

"The sooner we can engage and start having those discussions, we can map out our own destiny," Behrmann noted. 

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D.J. Blutarsky said...

Sounds like the City Manager is a little tone deaf! A staff report gloating about selling more cars than anticipated during the pandemic; spending like drunken sailors in Old Town and District56; talking about small business and renter hardships during the pandemic--but here he is suggesting a sales tax increase!

I thought "fresh eyes" were brought in to attract more jobs and business to the city. How does a sales tax increase do that? Looking back at the Bee...

"The majority of the council felt it was time to get fresh eyes," City Councilman Pat Hume said Thursday. There was nothing wrong with Gill's performance, he said, adding that the council was looking for a different skill set as it focuses on attracting more jobs and businesses to the city.

Sac Bee 5/10/18

D.J. Blutarsky said...

So here's how it works: Hire a consultant to advise on strategy and do polling; have Hobbs write creative ballot language; and the police union is licking their chops!

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