May 5, 2016 2:54 PM by News Staff
The fate of public safety in Redding is about to be put in the hands of the voters after the Redding City Council agreed to put a half-cent sales tax increase measure on the November ballot. Counselors said the tax to help pay for more police and fire staffing, and badly needed facilities.
November 8 will be a big day for Redding. That's when voters will decide on whether or not to increase the city-wide sales tax from 7.5 percent to 8 percent in the name of improving public safety.
Vice Mayor Brent Weaver who was chosen to co-draft the language with Mayor Missy Mcarthur, said that the $11 million generated would pay for an additional 29 police officers, 128 more jail beds, with $1 million going toward mental health services, a $375,000 toward a sobering center, and the fire department would get people per engine instead of two. He also said the measure will ultimately be a great investment in the city.
“As we see this community become more attractive our property values go up more people want to visit, more people want to move here,” Weaver said. “We’re going to see a great return on investment if we invest here.”
Action News Now stopped by a neighborhood restaurant to ask some the locals what they thought of the possible tax increase.
“I personally don't like paying more sales tax but I think we need it we need to build up our police force more. We’re having a lot of trouble in the area so yes I am willing to pay it and vote for it.”
While most people agreed that they'd be willing to pay more if it meant more safety, others brought up some interesting counter points.
“It will end up encouraging more people to buy on the internet and for automobiles and that kind of thing, it's certainly easy to go to another jurisdiction so it probably won’t succeed in getting to the point they'd like it to.”
Weaver said that it is a misconception however.
“You can buy a car in Nevada or Sacramento but the tax will still come back to Redding because that's where you live, that’s where the tax will be tied to.”
Vice mayor weaver said the argument in favor of the measure should be written in the next few months.
They have not yet confirmed who will write the language against the measure.