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Voters will decide on tax measure

Posted: Wednesday, Feb 26th, 2014

WATSONVILLE Voters will decide in June if the sales tax in the city should increase to support public safety.

The Watsonville City Council agreed unanimously Tuesday to put the measure on the June ballot.

The measure, which requires a two-thirds voter approval, has a seven-year sunset date. According to Ezequiel Vega, administrative services director, the half-percent increase in sales tax is expected to generate $2.8 million annually and $20 million over seven years.

With the increase, Watsonville's sales tax rate would be the highest in the county at 9 percent, with the cities of Capitola, Santa Cruz and Scotts Valley at 8.75 percent.

If approved, 60 percent of the revenues from the tax measure will go to the police department, while the remaining 40 percent will go to the fire department.

Overhead costs to administer the measure would not exceed 2 percent, Vega said.

Councilwoman Nancy Bilicich questioned whether the city could borrow funds from the tax for other purposes.

Vega said it is possible, but it would require approval from the Council and the Revenue Oversight Committee.

For the complete article see the 02-27-2014 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 02-27-2014 paper.

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