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Petaluma asks residents to rank top city priorities

Category: General Taxes
Published: Monday, 04 July 2016 03:38
Written by Super User
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The Petaluma City Council in February authorized spending up to $166,150 on a consultant to conduct polling, research, analysis and public outreach on the possible tax. It would cost $46,000 to put the measure on the ballot, according to an estimate at that time, making for a maximum combined cost of $212,150.

The costs of advancing the measure have prompted several elected officials to call for meticulous polling, which would either inspire confidence in moving forward to the ballot or give cause to call off the process. Many have cited the failure of 2014's Measure Q as a painful lesson. That proposed tax to fund several city services including road repair appeared to be sailing toward approval before voters shot it down at the ballot box 56.7 to 43.3 percent.

The pivotal issue for Measure Q, many have argued, was that the measure was proposed as a general tax, which allows a wider use of the revenue than a more narrow special tax. General taxes need a lower threshold to pass, yet voters in Sonoma County have appeared reluctant to approve them in recent years, ostensibly over concerns of how the money would ultimately be used.