The city of Lompoc needs more income, and it will not get it by more cuts, as explained by the city’s finance staff. It needs the millions of dollars a sales tax can generate. The council was responsible for shelving a sales tax in 2017. Had the sales tax passed then, the city would have been $10 million richer today.
The city attorney presented the options for a sales tax in the 2019-20 time frame. It is most obvious to all that we need a sales tax that will generate needed funds to cover services and pay down the debt to CalPERS. The best opportunity is before us right now.
The five City Council members need to declare a financial emergency and place a general 1 percent sales tax on the November ballot. They will have to get the tax wording approved by the end of August to make this time frame. With this action and approval by the citizens, the city can see a $5 million increase in funds in the 2020 time frame. The council has to get real and solve our budget shortfalls now, or they will continue to grow in the next years. We have no other choice.
There is no downside to a sales tax. Let the citizens vote on it. All other cities have done so and most sales taxes have passed. Lompoc cannot afford to lose more valuable people and reduced city services and continue to be a viable city. Otherwise, bankruptcy is in Lompoc’s future, and we will become a ward of the county.