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Chico City Council discusses raising sales tax

The Chico City Council had a meeting last night discussing various topics. Those included getting commercial air service back and raising the sales tax in Chico.

Posted: Oct 17, 2019 8:16 AM

CHICO, Calif. – The Chico City Council had a meeting last night discussing various topics. Those included getting commercial air service back and raising the sales tax in Chico.

The City of Chico is looking at options to get the commercial air service back.

The city has been looking at ways to create funding for those services, said City Manager Mark Orme.

This would be so the airline does not lose any money.

The city submitted a half-million grant through the Federal Government, this would help any air service that does not meet the seat-fill requirements.

Debra Franklin who lives in Butte County said she would like having the airport back open. 

"It is a commercial area it would be all about the bottom line," Franklin said. "It would be nice to be able to, my kids all live out of the area, it would be nice instead of driving all the way to Sacramento. So if possible at least one flight a day would be wonderful," said Franklin. 

Mark Orme added there is a lot more to do when it comes to getting funding because it is recommended to help any airline they need at least one million dollars.

Orme added there would have to be fundraising in the community.

The Chico City Council is also looking at increasing the sales tax in Chico.

It would change from 7.25% to 8.25%. If it was put on the ballot it could go one of two ways.

The first way would be a 50 plus 1 format.

This means 50% of the voters plus one would have to vote in favor of the raise for it to pass.

Then the city could use the money however they see fit, no matter how they advertised it.

However, if people want to know where their money is going it has to be on the ballot as a 2/3 vote.

This means 2/3 of voters would have to approve the idea, but they would know exactly where that money is going beforehand.

The city has someone outside of politics coming in to consult, Orme said.

"It has to be non-political so an educational consultant to help educate people in the city about the tax and what it does," said Orme.

Councilman Sean Morgan said a lot of people might be willing to pay a little more. 

"People say I would be willing to pay a little more for more. A little more tax dollars for a little more, I think there are a lot of people who feel that way, but we need to make sure they are getting what they ask for, and there is only one way to do that," said Morgan. 

The city council will decide if the idea goes on the ballot as a 50 plus one vote or a 2/3 vote, Morgan said.

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