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Lakewood Council Places 3/4 Cent Sales Tax on March 2020 Ballot

BY BRIAN HEWS • NOVEMBER 13, 2019

Citing Sacramento as the cause of the City’s revenue problem, the Lakewood City Council voted to place a 3/4 cent sales tax on the 2020 ballot at this past Tuesday’s regular City Council meeting.

City officials stated that the State of California has taken over $30 million in local property tax dollars from Lakewood over the past eight years, and will continue to take approximately $2 million every year on into the future.

The take-away has resulted in Lakewood having to make significant budget cuts over the past two years, including to public safety as well as parks and facility maintenance in order to maintain a balanced budget.

The sales tax measure would raise approximately $10 million a year, an amount that would be “just sufficient” to meet the City’s budget deficit in the years ahead and to fund and maintain City services.

It would take the tax rate from 9.50% to 10.25%.

The “Lakewood Public Safety/Local Control Measure” was developed after nearly a year of community-centered outreach following the adoption of the 2018-2019 budget, after State takeaways had begun to impact Lakewood’s services to residents.

“The City of Lakewood has been engaging residents on their service priorities and our budget situation for several months now. Thank you to the hundreds of residents who took the time to participate,” said Mayor Todd Rogers.

“We’re at a crossroads,” said Rogers. “Either we generate more revenue for Lakewood or we make deep cuts in our services to residents, including parks, community services and even public safety. And those would be cuts that would change Lakewood from the way we’ve known it for many years.”

The measure includes strict accountability requirements, including mandatory financial audits and the creation of a Citizens Oversight Committee, to ensure that all funds are spent in Lakewood as promised.

Details on the Lakewood Public Safety/Local Control Measure can be viewed at www.lakewoodcity.org/StaffReport

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