City postpones sales tax measure

The draft language for the City of Susanville’s proposed 2020 special public safety tax is out, ready for viewing and discussion. However, the city decided to postpone those conversations until its next meeting.

The proposed tax measure is a 1 percent increase on the gross receipts of any retailer for the sale of all tangible personal property sold in the city of Susanville.

All taxes, penalties and interest collected shall be deposited in an account separate and apart from the general fund and shall be designated for the use and used in providing of public safety services.

According to the draft ordinance, the net revenues derived shall be used in addition to, and not to supplant, or in any way replace or serve as a substitute for, the level of funding for Susanville’s police and fire departments, are provided from other revenue sources by the city’s 2019-2020 fiscal year budget.

Under the ordinance draft, a detailed report of the use of all funds collected pursuant to the ordinance is to be presented to the city council on the first Wednesday in April 2020 and then continuing every three months thereafter.

The ordinance states that public safety services include the following services administered by the departments:

  • Augmentation of the base wages, any increase in the costs of fringe benefits and any increase in the cost of retirement, excluding any overtime compensation, for all fire and police department personnel.
  • Additional police officers for program, including but not limited to: School resource officer; gang activity surveillance and suppression; drug intervention including enforcement and prevention’ neighborhood patrols; a traffic officer; code enforcement/blight eradication officer.
  • Providing improved police officer and fire fighter equipment.

The city is to meet and confer in good faith with the Susanville Peace Officer Association and the Operating Engineers Local Union Number 3 Fire Fighters regarding the administration and use of all funds received pursuant to the ordinance.

Also presented in the language is the establishment of an independent citizens oversight committee. Members of the committee will be appointed by the city council to review the expenditures and revenues generated by the imposed tax.