State lawmakers are considering a bill that would help the City of El Cerrito continue to provide the level of services residents rely on.
The bill, sponsored by Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, would increase contra Costa County and the City of El Cerrito’s capacity to raise local transaction (sales) and use funding above the current limit to fund and maintain local services.
“If passed, AB 1324 will allow the voters of El Cerrito and Contra Costa to determine the level they wish to fund their own local services,” explained El Cerrito City Manager Scott Hanin, who attended the Senate Committee on Governance and Finance on Wednesday, June 18. “El Cerrito is still suffering from the recession and faces a variety of fiscal and service delivery challenges. This bill would give residents the option to take control over local funds for local needs, and allow residents the opportunity to determine whether they want to continue funding these services at their current levels” Hanin added.
The standard statewide rate for transactions (sales) and use tax is 7.50%. In addition to the statewide sales and use tax rate, some cities and counties have additional voter-approved district taxes.
The State currently caps the total tax rate for those local taxes at two percent. As currently proposed, AB 1324 (Skinner) would allow voters in El Cerrito and Contra Costa County to approve up to an additional half percent transaction (sales) and use tax on their local ballots.
“Under this bill, voters can decide at the ballot box how to fund police, fire and other essential services, so residents have a choice about how their dollars are spent,” Assemblymember Skinner said.
The bill passed out of the Senate Committee on Governance and Finance and now heads to the Senate Floor.
Information about AB 1324 is available online at Assemblywoman Skinner’s website at http://asmdc.org/members/a15/legislation/2013-14-legislation
—Information submitted by City of El Cerrito