Safety-Protection Measure would extend current voter-approved local controlled funding to address safety, water and critical infrastructure needs without raising tax rates
INDIO – Voters here will head to the polls in November after the City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to place on the ballot a safety-protection measure, which would extend current voter-approved funding to address safety, water and critical infrastructure needs without raising tax rates.
In 2016, more than 73% of voters approved Measure X, which increased sales tax in the City of Indio by 1%. At he time, voters were told that public safety is a top priority. As a city of 89,000, it is important to have the infrastructure which supports the community and its anticipated growth. Economic development will also be vital in order to increase general fund revenue to provide for emergency response officers and other public safety needs. Investing in economic development creates sustainable revenue over time from local businesses and mixed-use development, as well.
If voters approve extending measure X, the City of Indio No Tax Increase Safety/Essential City Services Protection Measure would extend the city’s current voter-approved 1-cent sales tax measure until ended by voters, allowing the city to address local public safety, fire, medical and emergency response needs, while maintaining current city services, including water security and street repair, using funding that cannot be taken by Sacramento.
“In today’s climate, our residents understand the importance of maintaining the essential public safety services needed to keep our schools, parks, and neighborhoods safe,” City Manager Bryan Montgomery said in a prepared statement. “COVID, continued actions by the state, and cost increases by the county have placed us in a fiscal emergency. Extending current voter-approved local funding will allow Indio to continue taking care of its own- retaining police officers, firefighters and paramedics, upgrading 9-1-1 communications systems, replacing outdated fire trucks and ambulances, and continuing to keep our children safe.”
Currently, Indio’s 9-1-1 dispatch center, police station, neighborhood fire stations and the emergency operations center are all outdated and deteriorating, do not comply with today’s state earthquake safety standards and do not meet the local first-responders’ needs. Additionally, critical water conservation and delivery systems need continued funding.
“The City of Indio always puts the voice of local voters first,” Montgomery said. “We had a choice of delaying critical public safety, water security and infrastructure repair needs, or to give our voters the opportunity to consider extending locally-controlled funding until a time of their choosing, without any increase in the current tax rate. With today’s action, the council has elected to allow the community to decide. We encourage all eligible Indio residents to vote in the upcoming November election.”
The local funding extension measure placed on the ballot by the Council continues strict accountability provisions, including annual independent audits and online expenditure reports available for public review, and citizens’ oversight. Further, all money raised must be used for Indio city services and by law, these funds cannot be taken by state politicians.
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- Bryan Montgomery: Bryan Montgomery
- Ballot box: Shutterstock