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Cerritos Mayor George Ray Asks Residents to Attend Sept. 22 Council Meeting

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Cerritos Mayor George Ray.

Dear Editor:

At the last two Cerritos City Council meetings, numerous residents voiced their thoughts and concerns regarding potential budget expenditure reduction measures and a possible ballot measure for a local sales tax increase to help the City address its current $6.5 million budget deficit.

To allow more community members the opportunity to provide input on these two important items, it was decided to continue the public hearing to the City Council meeting on Thursday, September 22 at 7 p.m. I encourage all residents and community members to attend the meeting and share their comments on these two issues.

This is an important time for the City Council and the residents to help decide the future of Cerritos.

If the City Council decides to put the sales tax measure on the ballot in March 2017, the resident voters will decide whether or not to approve the increase.

A sales tax increase of 1 percent would have the potential to generate millions of dollars in additional revenue to Cerritos based on current sales tax projections.

A 1 percent sales tax increase would amount to an increase of $1 on the purchase of $100 spent on taxable items in Cerritos.

Both residents and non-residents would pay the sales tax when they make purchases at local shopping centers for items such as clothing or furniture. The monies received from the sales tax increase would be used for law enforcement, maintenance of City infrastructure, such as roads and sidewalks and tree trimming, and the continuation of City programs and services.

A similar sales tax increase was recently approved by voters in the City of Long Beach in June. In addition, several other local cities, including Westminster, La Palma and Fountain Valley have placed measures asking for voter consideration of a local sales tax increase on the November 2016 ballot.

Aside from the City’s hotel bed tax, the City of Cerritos does not levy any additional local taxes on residents or businesses. With the exception of the hotel tax, all other taxes charged in the City are levied by other entities, including the State and Los Angeles County.

Again, I encourage all residents and community members to join us at the next City Council meeting for a meaningful discussion on the City budget and sales tax proposal. Please share your thoughts with us on how we can move forward to continue to make Cerritos the wonderful place it is to live and work.

George Ray
Mayor, City of Cerritos

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