Measure Q, which appears on Davis’ June ballot, continues the one-half cent sales tax that has been in effect since 2004.
The sales tax contributes $3 million – 8 percent – to the city’s General Fund. If passed, the sales tax will be in effect until the end of 2016.
While this measure helps the city cope with its budget situation, it is a temporary fix for a larger problem – the faulty structure of the city’s budget. Trying to solve this problem with a tax on Davis citizens is not the right answer. On the other hand, ending this tax now would be detrimental for the city.
Therefore, Davis citizens should vote “yes” for Measure Q this year; then urge their city officials to reexamine issues like excessive compensation.
Councilmember Lamar Heystek is right to question the tax. There are serious problems with the city budget. The amount some employees are making is unreasonable given the current and past circumstances.
No one can negotiate contracts with a wave of a wand. Fair negotiation is a time-consuming, but necessary, process in the future. The millions the city collects from the extra funding goes toward supporting basic city services, such as fire, police and park maintenance. If the sales tax were to be discontinued, there would be a negative impact on residents – potholes, overgrown parks and damaged roads. The employees who take care of these features of Davis life could be laid off.
Citizens should support Measure Q, while at the same time demand that Davis address its more fundamental budget issues.