Daily 49er

Mayor Garcia proposes one-cent sales tax increase

The mayor seeks to fix Long Beach’s infrastructure and needs for more police and fireman with tax revenue.

Lauren Torres, Staff Writer

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Mayor Garcia, along with former Mayors Bob Foster and Beverly O’Neill, gave the city council a letter asking for a measure to be put on the the ballot to help combat the city’s “two pressing challenges” by raising the sales tax one cent.

The two challenges are $2.8 billion in unfunded infrastructure needs and a need for additional police and firemen.

While the city currently spends $65 million on capital infrastructure, the added funds would address the city’s need to repair sidewalks, streets, alleys and an upgrade for city water and storm drain systems.

Hiring more police and firemen would help combat the city’s rising crime rate and maintain 911 paramedic response times across the city.

“We care deeply about this city and believe the vast majority of our community members and business owners want to find solutions to these challenges,” Garcia’s letter read.

The letters proposal also asked for an additional measure to be placed on the ballot that would put the first one percent of any new revenue into a “rainy day” fund for the city.

According to the letter, this would, “provide long-term financial stability for the city and protect service levels in a prolonged recession.”

A recent survey of Long Beach voters shows that 67 percent believe Long Beach is headed in the right direction, while 21 percent feel it’s headed down the wrong track.

Of these voters, 66 percent feel that the city needs additional funds, while 25 percent do not.

The city council still needs to vote on whether or not these measures will be put on the ballot this year.

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