(UPDATE: City Council deadlocks 2-2 at February 27 meeting. Now what? Stay tuned for details.)
By Lionel Emde, Riptide Correspondent
At its February 27 meeting, Pacifica City Council will consider a one-half point (cent) sales tax increase for inclusion on the June 2012 ballot.
The city staff report, while detailing the "Financing City Services Task Force" history of previous actions, omits the failed attempt to increase the sales tax in 2009. The council placed a 1 percentage point sales tax increase on the ballot in February 2009, which then failed by a 60+ percent "no" vote on June 2, 2009. A "Fire Suppression Assessment" that purported to save firefighting services failed in April 2011, resulting in elimination of the city attorney's position and outsourcing of police dispatch, as has been done in other San Mateo County cities.
Since then, the only tax increase to pass has been the Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT), which added 2 points to the hotel tax that visitors pay.
The new revenue claimed by the city through this increased tax is less than $1.1 million, and the cost to taxpayers to try passing it on the ballot is $54,000. The increase would take effect in October 2012 if it passes.