Before the first dollar is collected on Measure E, Elk Grove citizens demand expenditure for their pet project



Last November, Elk Grove voters approved Measure E, which will increase sales taxes on many consumer purchases in Elk Grove by one percent. The measure is expected to raise $23 million annually. 


Even though the city will not levy the tax until April, with revenues rolling in months later, Elk Grove citizens are making their demands known. One person has started an online petition with their demand.


The petition started by Kim M posted on Change.org is titled Ask the City of Elk Grove to hire a second shelter veterinarian. The non-binding petition, which over 140 people have signed, says:


Elk Grove citizens voted in favor of Measure E last year. The tax is expected to begin in April of 2023. This proposal is estimated to generate over $21 million dollars. Recent estimates suggest $160,000 should be allocated to cover pay and benefits for a second full-time shelter veterinarian. An additional registered veterinarian technician would require an estimate of $76,000 per technician. 

This week the city of Elk Grove will hold the first of four workshops seeking input on how to spend the windfall. Elk Grove Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen and her four city councilmen, Rod Brewer, Sergio Robles, Kevin Spease, and Darren Suen, have obliquely promised robust independent oversight as they spend the windfall on things like homelessness, parks, public safety, and economic development.

Even before the money makes its way to the coffers, undoubtedly, there will be other demands on the city. The four workshops should provide the city with an array of suggestions on how to use the cash.

Ironically, even though the city is ostensibly hosting the forum for citizens' input, under California law, they can spend the money in any manner they want. Measure E was a general tax increase, so that money goes to a city's general fund for any use.   


So while the city has made vague promises on the so-called quality of life issues, they could use it to increase city employee wages, install city hall executive restrooms, make the mayor and city council members full-time positions with support staff, or make further enhancement to city hall facilities like the wellness room. 


Given that Elk Grove citizens are already pushing for their pet project, those expenditures are probably politically untenable. Nonetheless, never underestimate the extreme measures bureaucrats and elected officials will take to satisfy their needs, especially when armed with a $23 million slush fund.  


Bonus - Watch former Elk Grove City Councilmember and current Sacramento County Supervisor Pat Hume explain the passage of sales tax proposals in California. 



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D.J. Blutarsky said...

If my recollection is correct, the City had to float a bond to pay for the animal shelter and use City Hall as collateral. Not sure Milo and Otis are gonna see any of that Measure E money, but fear not, plenty of other tax dollars will be sunk into that facility long-term.

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