CHICO, Calif. - Mayor Andrew Coolidge announced future plans to address homelessness within the city, as well as a potential sales tax increase. People in Chico were happy with how the city is addressing homelessness, but do not like the tax increase.
"The city stands ready both with financial help and assistance with service providers to create temporary housing for those in need," said Coolidge in a Facebook video posted to the city's page.
Mayor Coolidge announced that Chico is looking into multiple avenues to address homelessness through affordable housing and seeking outside help, while also dealing with what he called the root causes.
"Lack of targeting the root causes of these issues remains an ongoing reality. from drug addiction to mental health concerns, these two areas are instrumental in providing real help to those in need help and in helping to design a long-term solution," said Coolidge. "Targeting the most identifiable and treatable root problems, rather than simply treating the symptoms."
"I definitely think that's the right course," said Adrian Lopez Jr. "Whenever you have an issue you want to address the root cause of the issue not just the symptoms of the issue."
Coolidge says he is asking the council to apply pressure on the county's behavioral health department by looking further into where the funds go.
"My brother was homeless so I personally feel like it's a great initiative and it's something that we would want to accomplish," said Lopez.
"I really think a lot of changes need to be made because it's been an issue for a long time and it makes me sad just looking at people suffering especially right now in winter when it's cold and they really don't have anything," said Promise P and it's really sad."
However, one thing the Mayor announced that did not sit well with many was a sales tax increase.
"This necessary additional revenue will allow us to keep our roads public safety, and infrastructure functioning effectively."
Some feel in the middle of a pandemic is not the right time to increase taxes.
"It's a hard time for a lot of individuals and every dollar we earn right now we kind of need. I would just say that I think it would be responsible for the city to look for other measures that wouldn't burden us right now," said Lopez.
If you remember, a half-cent sales tax was introduced in late June of 2020 that would've brought in an estimated nine-million dollars for the city.
That proposal need five votes to pass, it only received four.
The next city council meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 5th at 6 p.m.