Voters in Elk Grove will soon decide on a proposed one-cent sales tax increase that supporters say will help pay for keeping the city safe and clean.
The Elk Grove City Council voted on Wednesday to put the sales tax increase of one cent on the November ballot. But some residents, including Vaughan Evans Senior, spoke out against the plan before the vote.
“It's just not a perfect time to try to raise … a one-cent tax,” he said. “That's pretty bold and arrogant.”
Paul Lindsay also opposed putting the proposed tax on the ballot.
“With fluctuating inflation continuing to rise, with a nation on the brink of recession, with even the world on the brink of recession, it would be less than compassionate to even propose this action. This is not the time, not the place,” he said.
Council member Stephanie Nguyen was sympathetic to opponents.
“It really is a hard time right now for everybody,” said Nguyen, who is also a candidate for state Assembly. “But a vote on this doesn't mean that you're supportive of it or not supportive of it, but you're supportive of putting it on the ballot so that our voters can decide on what we want to do here in our city.”
But council member Darren Suen said Elk Grove needs more resources to maintain the current quality of life.
“There is no good timing for taxes, but the sad truth is things continue to cost more. Our needs as a city, as we grow, will continue to increase and if we're not planning ahead then we will fall behind,” he said.
City officials say the proposed sales tax increase could generate an estimated $21 million a year. Supporters say the additional money would be used to pay for rapid fire and police response, park maintenance and to address homelessness. Elk Grove's current sales tax rate is 7.75%.
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