The Modesto City Council’s Finance Committee continues the discussion today of how the city might spend the estimated $26 million that would be generated if voters approve a 1 percent increase in the sales tax, a proposal that appears as Measure X on the Nov. 5 ballot.
The council opted for a general tax because it requires only majority approval instead of the two-thirds needed for a specific tax increase. The council cannot guarantee where the money will be spent, so members are preparing a resolution of intent, basically a “trust-us” document, to try to persuade taxpayers/voters that the money will go to worthwhile purposes. It has identified three priorities: public safety, which would get the largest amount; economic development, and bolstering the reserves/covering the deficit. Most of the spending options listed so far are for ongoing costs, leaving the likelihood that the city would have to ask for an extension after six years.
The Finance Committee meets at 5 p.m. today in Room 2005 of Tenth Street Place. The session is open to the public and citizens are allowed to comment. The full council is scheduled to consider the “trust-us” list on Sept. 10.