SANTA MARIA – The Santa Maria City Council will discuss an expenditure plan for allocating Measure U tax revenue at it's meeting on Tuesday, October 16th. The quarter-cent sales tax hike was approved by city voters by more than 60 percent during the June primary vote.
The tax, which went into effect on October 1st, will be collected on a quarterly basis beginning January 1, 2013. "It's very satisfying that knowing that promises that were made, expectations that the residents and business had in passing Measure U that the city is actually able to fulfill those promises," said Rick Haydon, the city manager of Santa Maria.
According to Haydon, the city will collect about $2.1 million during the first six month period. The city council will decide how to spend the revenue with recommendations from city staff.
"The number one priority was to staff Fire Station Number 5 on a full time basis, the other priority is to hire back the six unfunded police officers that we've had unfunded for the last two or three years," said Haydon.
Fire Station Number Five should be fully staffed by mid-November, while the new police personnel should be in place by early Spring.
The City Council will also decide on how to allocate about $200,000 on other options that include a handful of community services and programs.
Santa Maria is expecting Measure U will generate about $4.2 million for the fiscal year of 2013-14, which will mark the first full year of sales tax revenue brought in by the measure.
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