Raising expectations - Elk Grove promises to address homelessness with Measure E money

Starting April 1, 2023, the City of Elk Grove will begin levying a one percent sales tax on most purchases in the city. The additional revenue comes from voter-approved Measure E.

Community forums have discussed how that new tax money will be used, which is expected to generate $23 million annually. On Monday, February 27, the city will host its third forum focusing on Elk Grove's rapidly growing homeless population. 

The city has contacted various media to spread the word on the homelessness forum as part of its community engagement. This morning KCRA/My58 aired a live report on tonight's discussion at District56 (see video below).

There are many competing interests for Measure E revenues. By publicizing the homelessness forum, elected officials and bureaucrats are raising expectations that the Measure E money will solve Elk Grove's growing population of unhoused people. 

According to a report to the California Assembly by the California Interagency Council on Homelessness, total expenditures in the Sacramento region grew from $65 million in fiscal year 2018-19 to $191 million in fiscal year 2020-21. In the fiscal year 2020-21, the cities of West Sacramento and Folsom spent $3.5 and $2.5 million, respectively, while Elk Grove had no reported expenditures included in the report.  

So while Elk Grove is raising expectations that its growing homeless population will be humanely addressed, as we can see, total spending in the region has grown, yet the challenges persist. By committing Measure E funding, the Elk Grove City Council could descend a rabbit hole where residents' expectations will be unrealistically high if not enough or too much money is spent to address the challenge and nothing changes. 

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