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Possible Sonora Sale Tax Increase

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In an effort to get additional revenue for important safety services — such as police and fire as well as for roads and public works projects, the City of Sonora will soon ask voters to approve a sales tax increase.

City Administrator Greg Applegate says the sales tax ballot measure would “allow the citizens of Sonora to determine the future funding needs” of those departments.

The extra sales tax revenue from purchases within the incorporated city limits — would be set aside “to meet growing needs of the city,” such as meeting staffing needs.

Just when voters could see the measure come before them isn´t clear yet. Applegate says they may vote by mail-in ballot, due to the small number of people effected by the measure — about 1,700.

During a special meeting by the City Council Wednesday afternoon, the council voted 5-0 to direct the city´s attorney and city manager to move forward with the legal documents needed that would allow the council to place it on a ballot measure.

Applegate wasn´t sure if the increase would be 1/4 cent or 1/2 cent, or if the council will choose a special purpose tax or a general purpose tax.

The administrator cited the on-going battle with state funding cuts and revenue streams to local government. “We´re at a point where the revenue takes continue,” he said. “It is brutalizing local government.”

The documents need to be back in front of the council within the next 30 to 45 days.