Culver City Council Seeking more Sales Tax to Keep City Functioning
The Culver City Council voted 5-0 at it’s last meeting to hold a special election to see if residents would agree to a one-half cent sales tax (which would amount to around $9.8 million annually) to support vital city services like firefighters and police personnel.
Martin Feinberg, Realtor, was interested to learn that this is the second time the City Council has had to ask voters to support increasing the sales tax within the Culver City Real Estate area to keep the City open. In 2018 Culver City residents unanimously voted to pass a tax measure, known as Measure C, that would allow the city to maintain a basic level of services, such as after-school programs, 911 emergency response teams, firefighters, police, and senior services.
In that election Culver City residents voted 70% to 29% to allow the quarter-cent Culver City Neighborhood Safety and City Services Protection Sales Tax to fund those services.
Local listing agent Martin Feinberg notes that the city had declared a fiscal emergency in 2018 to help convince residents to to support Measure C, which is similar to the fiscal emergency declared by the City Council at it’s October 28 meeting this year.
Staff reports suggest that the city’s operating costs are increasing at a faster pace than its revenue. The General Fund Appropriations, for example, is expected to outpace the city’s General Fund Revenue over the next decade by more than $7 million. Pension expenses are also set to increase over the next few years. Even with the one-half cent sales tax addition Culver City’s deficit is still expected to increase by $9 million over the next ten years.
The Culver City Council is currently calling the new fiscal emergency “The Great Recession.” Council members agree that though the city is in the process of thinning the budget by removing some positions and operating in a more fiscally responsible manner, more drastic steps will be necessary to keep the city financially viable.