Culver City Council to Consider Imposing Half-Cent Sales Tax Increase at July 16th Meeting

At its next regular meeting, Monday, July 16, the Culver City Council will consider placing a half-cent sales tax increase measure on the November ballot.

The Culver City Chamber of Commerce, which supports the half-cent sales tax increase as long as it is accompanied by a five-year sunset provision, makes the following argument:

  • A half-cent increase will bring Culver City to the same sales tax level as Santa Monica and Inglewood.
  • A half-cent increase will allow the city to address its structural deficit over the next five years.
  • A ¾-cent increase would hurt the city's effort to attract new business.
  • Sales tax is the most volatile and most regressive tax in our economy, so we must find ways to wean our city off its unbalanced reliance on this revenue stream.
  • We estimate that 89% retail sales are non-Culver City voters, so we cannot afford to earn a reputation as a "high tax" city.
  • A half-cent increase puts the general fund revenue from sales tax at 32%, while a  ¾-cent increase would put those revenues at 40%.  Our city must diversify because it is dangerous to generate so much of our revenues from one source.

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments below and at the July 16 meeting, which begins at 7:00. To voice your opinion at the meeting, just show up at the City Council chambers at City Hall (9770 Culver Boulevard) at 6:45 or so, fill out a speakers card, and wait for your name to be announced.

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Comment by Scupine on July 17, 2012 at 11:32am

Thanks for the update -- and the advocacy. Much appreciated.

Comment by Kevin Lachoff on July 17, 2012 at 11:29am

The council last night voted to place a 1/2-cent increase on the November ballot, with a 10 year "sunset". 

This measure will be a crucial source of funds in our post-Redevelopment Agency environment.  Having heard from several of the finance / budget meetings about the City's budget and deficit, if the measure doesn't pass, we will all feel the effects of the cuts and lower levels of service (city services, parks & recreation, likely police and fire / safety, etc.).  There will be a number of similar measures on the November ballot - I hope Culver City bands together to support our own need for this tax.

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