Healdsburg Puts Sales Tax Increase on Nov. 6 Ballot

Council also OKs ballot question on urban growth boundary.


Healdsburg City Council unanimously agreed Monday to add two questions on the Nov. 6 ballot, including w

The sales tax increase, if approved by voters, would raise the city's sales tax from

City Council members said Monday they have already cut staff and programs to the bone. they said.

"Clearly, I think we're in a dangerous situation," said City Councilman Tom Chambers. "In order to be able to continue with the same level of services in the city, we should offer this up."

City Councilman Jim Wood agreed, adding that news of a proposed state sales tax measure from Gov. Jerry Brown did not reassure him because none of the revenue from that would go to the cities.

"The state, for all intents and purposes, has abandoned us," added Mayor Gary Plass. "We're going to have to fend for ourselves."

The other ballot question, if approved by voters on Nov. 6, would extend the end of the effective time period for Healdsburg's urban growth boundary 14 years, from Dec. 31, 2016 to Dec. 13, 2030.

The new date of the UGB effective period would coincide with the update deadline for the Healdsburg General Plan and thus would put the two planning tools on the same schedule, said Healdsburg Planning Director Barbara Nelson.

City Council members all were emphatic in their support for extension the current urban growth boundary effective period, saying that it was helping to preserve the character of the city.

"I'm wholeheartedly in favor of this," Wood said.

Healdsburg resident Warren Watkins added his support during the public comment.

"Urban growth boundaries seem to be a major thing in the life of Sonoma County cities," Watkins said in urging the council to preserve the existing UGB.

Signatories on the arguments for the two ballot questions will be Plass, Vice Mayor Susan Jones, and three community members for each of the two questions.

For more details on the two ballot measures, see the Press Democrat article here.

Tom July 17, 2012 at 03:19 PM
Taxing the general public to give more money to fiscally challenged individuals is not the answer to budget woes. An increase in sales tax would be oppressive to the low income and moderately income households. If you want to increase revenues, one area to look at is taxing the "tasting rooms" say a nickel a drink. A lot of the need for increased public services can be traced to those activities. This coupled with better fiscal management would balance the budget for years to come.
drof2th July 17, 2012 at 03:55 PM
Is this all libs can do? Tax and spend, tax and spend, tax and spend, and tax and spend! Here's a novel idea. Learn to stay within a NORMAL budget like we all do!


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