Jun 29 2011


A Report from the Chair of the 2011 Municipal Tax Review Committee,  Michael Rancer

At its June 22 meeting, the Municipal Tax Review Committee began reviewing draft proposals for recommendations to the City Council.  After lengthy discussion, the committee began to coalesce around intention to recommend:

  • Reauthorization of the municipal parcel tax beginning July 1, 2013
  • First year levy to equal the 2012-13 tax
  • Future annual increases limited to Bay Area Consumer Price Index (CPI), but not more than 4% per year
  • The fully authorized amount to be levied each year
  • All surpluses to be set aside to maintain a 15% general fund reserve and to fund long term capital and facility maintenance/replacement needs
  • City Council to follow outlines of multi-year plan as recommended by the committee, including limits on employee compensation (salary and benefits) and on commitments to new programs without offsetting revenues or budget reductions elsewhere
  • City Council to adopt a 5-year plan (to ensure adequate capital maintenance and replacement) with every annual budget
  • City to adopt a formal policy outlining a process for professional management of all construction projects (including but not limited to utility undergrounding) priced at more than $250,000, to ensure that such projects can be completed within budget and without recourse to additional city funds
  • Council action to place the parcel tax reauthorization on the ballot to include creation of a Municipal Budget Advisory Committee to review and recommend annual budgets, 5-year plans, individual in-year new program proposals that would add more than $250,000 annually to the operating budget, and other significant budget issues
  • Increase the sewer tax by an amount yet to be precisely calculated to cover EPA’s Bay water quality mandate through East Bay MUD

The committee will again take up these proposals at its July 6 meeting for further discussion, amendment and adoption, after which it will begin drafting its final report to the Council for presentation by the end of August.
As always, interested citizens are invited to attend the meetings.

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