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City Of Angels Citizens Invited To Weigh On Possible Tax Increases

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Angels Camp, CA – Due to anticipated public interest in two tax increase proposals possibly landing onto the November ballot, Bret Harte High School will be the venue for this week’s City of Angels council meeting.

Following Angels Camp City Council direction, City Attorney Douglas White researched and will be recommending that the members adopt a resolution to submit a Nov. 6 ballot measure. It proposes to impose a half-percent sales tax increase on the gross retailer receipts from the sale of all tangible personal property sold at retail in the city and increasing the city’s appropriations limit for the 2019-2023 fiscal years by the amount of the tax proceeds from the sales tax.

The city currently has a 7.5 percent sales tax but the city gets only one percent of it as the remainder is imposed by the county and state. It is considered comparatively low as of the state’s 482 incorporated cities, just nine percent have a sales tax at that level. Both Sonora and Jackson approved similar increases respectively back in 2004 and 2005.

Providing more rationale for upping the retail tax, the city has for the past three years approved structural general fund deficits totaling nearly $682,000 and actual deficit spending over the same period was almost $523,000. The projected deficit in the FY 2017-18 budget is over $103,000 not counting approved one-time budget amendments. At the council’s April 17 meeting, the council discussed doing this and/or increasing the transient occupancy (TOT) tax as possible means for raising much needed revenue and decided to proceed only with the retail tax increase.

Another Measure Would Tax Commercial Cannabis

Another tax measure that will be discussed for the ballot is one that would authorize the city to impose a business license tax not to exceed 15 percent on gross receipts of cannabis businesses, if they become allowed within city limits, and increase the appropriations limit by the amount of those tax proceeds. It should be noted that there is currently a moratorium at least through Nov. 12 prohibiting all commercial cannabis activity.

In other business, the council is also slated to approve awarding a contract for an organizational review and budget stabilization study of an amount not to exceed $65,000. After issuing an RFP back in March for which it received two proposals, a review committee chose Citygate Associates and Management Partners.

Once formally approved the contractor will facilitate strategic goal-setting workshops with the council and community members geared to guide strategic investments with limited resources. It will also do an organizational review and analysis of the city’s organizational operations structure that will especially focus on police, fire, museum and public works departments. Other scope includes identifying the city’s short and long-term challenges; basic services delivery; staffing and capital/facility infrastructure needs; and evaluations of best practices for small rural cities.

The meeting, in the high school’s multi-purpose room, will open to the public at 6 p.m. after the council concludes a scheduled half-hour closed session.