Lemoore Council schedules more meetings to discuss sales tax, district elections

Updated 6 years ago By Ed Martin, Editor
Lemoore City Hall
Lemoore City Hall
Photo by Jesus Garcia, Newman-Garcia Studio

Lemoore’s elected officials had their hands full at its Tuesday night regular meeting. At stake is the future public safety of Lemoore and the way the city’s citizens will elect their councilmembers in the future.

In the opening study session, at 5:30 p.m. councilmembers previewed a staff report about a potential city-wide sales tax measure. Its intended purpose is to place a local general sales tax initiative on the ballot - perhaps in the spring.

Councilmembers didn't decide anything Tuesday night about the two critical items but will take a more in-depth look at the issue - soon. They scheduled a special meeting Dec. 27 to take a closer look at district elections, and at their first meeting in January will look at options for a city-wide sales tax, in particular, a general versus a special tax.

A general sales tax requires only a 50 percent plus one vote effort to pass. A special tax takes a two-thirds majority to pass a tax but is limited to a specific issue.

In 2016, Kings County voters tried twice to pass a county-wide sales tax measure but narrowly lost both times. However, Lemoore voters twice gave the proposal a significant margin of victory, voting twice for it by substantial margins.

According to a council staff report, city officials are seeking ways to increase general fund revenues to support city services – which have grown over time. The city’s finances have not improved at an equitable rate.

City staff is recommending that the council adopt a resolution and ordinance allowing for a ballot measure in June 2018 to increase the local sales tax by one percent.

Staff is recommending a general sales tax, but most of the funds will be used to support the city’s public safety departments, including police and fire. If passed by voters, the measure would increase local revenues by 1.8 million dollars annually.

While no report was available at press time, city officials will ask councilmembers to transition for its current policy of at-large city council elections to district-based elections. Currently, councilmembers run for office on an at-large basis within the entire city, the top two or three earning seats on the council.

District elections will mandate that districts be set up allowing residents to elect someone to represent his or her area. Many cities have long accepted the district-based elections.

Lemoore Council schedules more meetings to discuss sales tax, district elections


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