Sales tax goes to council vote in San Bruno

The city may put a half-cent sales tax increase on the ballot this fall, a measure that, if passed, officials would use to tackle a long list of priorities — including a new library.

Over the last several months, the city has put the wheels in motion to gauge the likelihood of voter approval for such a ballot measure in the November election.

Now that a polling firm has told the city that most voters would be amenable to approving such a measure, the City Council is scheduled to discuss and vote on the issue at its regular meeting tonight.

Should the tax increase pass, Councilman Jim Ruane said the city would receive an additional $3 million to $3.5 million annually.

The city has been anxious for years to construct a new library to replace the structure located at 701 Angus Blvd. The building is not compliant with most requirements set forth by the federal Americans with Disabilities Act and has an inadequate number of Internet-ready stations, library services manager Terry Jackson said.

Ruane said the city needs more sources of revenue and that he would fully support a sales tax measure to bring the city into better financial standing. A sales tax increase, as opposed to a parcel tax — another municipal financing method — would be a fairer way to bulk up city coffers, Ruane said.

A laundry list of capital project needs — including the much-needed new library, a new swimming pool and shored-up police and fire services — has been getting longer as the years go by.

With several hundred thousand dollars in sales tax revenue lost in the last year after San Bruno Ford closed down, it has been a particularly good year to start looking at new revenue sources, Ruane said.

tramroop@examiner.com


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