Pacificans will vote on two citywide measures this November.
Measure Q is an advisory measure urging the City Council to ban fireworks. Proponents say public safety requires Pacifica to prevent fire hazards, as conditions are drier than they were years ago, and the noise is stressful to people and animals. Opponents say kids' groups earn money by selling fireworks.
Measure Y, also needing a simple majority to pass, would impose a new sales tax based not on where the purchase was made but on the residence of the buyer. Pacificans buying gas in San Bruno, a car in Fremont, or electronics online would pay the tax, but residents of other communities would not.
Proponents say City Hall needs the estimated $2.6 million it would bring in each year. Opponents say the tax is regressive and inequitable, and that City revenues from the county, state, and federal government as well as local tax revenues have never been higher.
When local governments say "we want to hear from you," that's usually a precursor to a proposed tax increase.
Pacifica has been trying to raise taxes at least since 1973, when a special election sought to raise taxes for employee compensation. It failed, as have several subsequent efforts. (Remember the phone tax?)
Pacifica is now less forthcoming about how new revenue would be spent, citing essential services instead of employee salaries. But regardless, almost all city revenue is spent on employees' salaries, pensions, and health benefits.
Next to Cal Water, the worst financial condition is in Pacifica, with reserves at 4.2% of those required. Pacifica is exploring $80M+ of borrowing and a 5 year 3.5% annual rate hike as part of $125M in proposed capital expenditures.