Half-cent sales tax measure on ballot

Updated June 19, 2018
In response to community input over the past year through Engage Roseville, where the majority of participants preferred raising revenue over cutting or eliminating services, the Roseville City Council at its June 6 meeting unanimously approved placing a half-cent locally-controlled general sales tax measure on the November 2018 ballot. [See TV and print media coverage of council action.]

If approved by voters, the measure would generate an estimated $16-19 million annually in new revenue to protect essential Roseville services such as public safety, roads, parks, recreation programs, and libraries. Roseville currently charges the state-mandated minimum sales tax of 7 ¼ cents per dollar, with just one cent of that going to the city. Most of it goes to the state.

Like all California cities, Roseville has been facing rising expenses along with slowing revenue growth as consumer spending habits change.

“Since the Great Recession, we’ve been successful at closing the budget gap in ways that haven’t been too noticeable to the public, particularly through labor costs.” said Acting City Manager Dominick Casey. “But we’re at a point now where budget cuts will be increasingly noticeable in our community.”

Through EngageRoseville, the City asked the community in-person and online to prioritize city services, gathering ideas and opinions from thousands of people for ways to close the budget gap.

“The community told us what’s important to them, and our budget reflects that,” Casey said.

Top priorities include preventing cuts to essential services including emergency response times, police and fire responses, libraries, park maintenance, and recreation activities, as well as maintaining city streets, roads and repairing potholes.

The measure includes an independent citizens’ oversight board, regular audits, and a guarantee that the revenue generated will be spent locally with funding that cannot be taken by the state. If the increase is approved by voters, Roseville’s sales tax rate would still be equal to or less than the sales tax rate of most cities and counties in the region.

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