Sacramento residents approved the sales tax hike of half a percentage point, proposed by Measure U this past November. This increase goes into effect on April 1, 2013, and is expected to generate $5 million within two months. City officials anticipate that the increase in sales tax hike will generate approximately $27 million per year in revenue.
Funding recommendations were proposed by City Manager John Shirey, and will be discussed at the City Council meeting this Tuesday. Shirey proposes to open the city’s Police Academy and recruit dozens of new officers. His plan also proposes to make park repairs and open six pools that were saved last year by Save Mart. Lastly, his plan proposes to save the jobs of 27 firefighters whose jobs were in jeopardy once the federal grant expires.
Shirey also hopes to persuade the city’s police officers to contribute their share of employee pensions that are currently funded by the city alone. This issue will be negotiated with the police union. The police funding would support recruitment and training of approximately 40 to 50 new officers expected to attend the Police Academy in July 2013.
Shirey proposes to use the revenue earned from measure U to avoid the closure of a fourth fire unit and pay to sustain 27 positions supported by a Federal grant that expires in May. Of the revenue earned from Measure U, Shirey proposes to use $250,000 to open six swimming pools and five wading pools by the end of June, and also to keep the other pools open.
Shirey also proposes to use $850,000 of the revenue earned from Measure U in order to develop projects at city parks. These projects include creating new sidewalks, drinking fountains, picnic table repairs, and bike trail resurfacing. Shirey also proposes to use some of the revenue earned from Measure U in order to fund animal control officers and city libraries.