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What happened 11/14. Will there be a tax in March??!!

The plan at the November 15 Special Council meeting was to decide whether to declare a fiscal emergency and whether the Council supported bringing either a sales tax or a parcel tax measure to the voters in March. Here's the outcome:

  1. Fiscal Emergency: Three Councilmembers voted in support of a declaration of fiscal emergency. 
  2. General Sales Tax: A general sales tax for March required a unanimous vote on the fiscal emergency question. Because there were only 3 votes for a fiscal emergency, a general sales tax was not an option. 
  3. Special Sales Tax: A special sales tax required support from 4 Councilmembers. Only 3 supported it and so it failed.
  4. Parcel Tax: Bringing a possible parcel tax to the voters required support from 3 Councilmembers. The vote was not taken and so there was no decision regarding a parcel tax in March. I's a bit confusing, right??!! 

Parcel Tax? No decision? What??!! The Council did not finish deliberations or vote on the final question. Council policy sets a meeting end time of 10:30pm, and requires that the meeting end then unless all Councilmembers agree to allow it to continue. One councilmember was not supportive of continuing beyond 10:30pm. The meeting was automatically adjourned without any decision on the final question or discussion about next steps. (Please don't criticize her decision. We have the "unanimous vote beyond 10:30pm rule" to respect an individual councilmember's opinion regarding meetings that go this late. If we have the rule, we need to allow councilmembers to exercise the option it provides.) 

Still an open question: Will this City Council bring a parcel tax to the voters in March 2024? Will it even get an opportunity to complete the discussion? 

Diana Rich, Sebastopol City Council
321 S. Main St. #60 
Sebastopol CA 95472
FPPC #1430199
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