As a small business owner, I know how to stretch every dollar. I’m not afraid to ask the hard questions about how our tax dollars are spent, and I’ll make sure my district’s priorities are the City’s priorities. The City sales and occupancy taxes appear to be recovered from the impact of the Thomas Fire and Montecito Debris flow, and continue on a fairly stable income, with modest growth in sales tax and transient occupancy tax. Measure C (the recent sales tax increase) is providing funding to address a backlog of road and infrastructure repairs along with building a new police station.
Since the great recession, City employees have been taking on a greater portion of their pension liability and in many cases are absorbing higher medical costs.
We can do better increasing our revenue – by invigorating downtown and enhancing other commercial areas. Additionally, the city expects $800,00 in revenue from cannabis taxes in 2020. With increased revenue the city can provide residents with expanded services – like enhancing parks hours, more services for children, teens, and seniors, assistance for the homeless and mentally ill, and supporting our local arts.
The 2020 combined operating budget is roughly $339.9 million with a combined capital budget (expenses) totaling roughly $63.4 million.