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Palm Desert Acts to Protect Community Safety, Vital Services and Fiscal Stability

City Places Local Funding Measure on November Ballot

Post Date:07/28/2016 6:06 PM

The Palm Desert City Council on Thursday, July 28, unanimously voted to place the City of Palm Desert Community Safety, Vital Services and Fiscal Stability Measure on the November 2016 ballot.

“People live in Palm Desert because it offers a high quality of life, safe neighborhoods, and great services,” said Interim City Manager Justin McCarthy. “This measure will help maintain public safety services, senior programs, parks, cultural programs, water conservation efforts and other vital services that make Palm Desert a desirable place to live, visit, and do business.”

If enacted, the measure will increase by 2% Palm Desert’s local hotel/motel tax paid by visitors and provide a guaranteed local funding source to protect and maintain vital city services, including public safety services such as emergency medical and police and fire response times, as well as road and street maintenance, senior programs, improved water conservation, and help assure the City’s long-term financial stability and economic development.

Since 2012, the State has taken approximately $40 million every year in redevelopment funds from Palm Desert, including money that supports critical local improvements and economic development. Millions of dollars in other state takeaways through the years have demonstrated the willingness of State politicians to divert local revenues from Palm Desert to Sacramento. If enacted, the hotel/motel tax will provide locally controlled funds that can only be used in Palm Desert.

“The measure is a hotel tax, paid only by hotel guests,” McCarthy said. “Palm Desert residents, homeowners, and property owners are not taxed under this measure unless they stay at a hotel here. Palm Desert’s hotel tax is the lowest in Coachella Valley. Every year, millions of tourists come to the Valley and use our public safety services, roads and natural habitats, and share in and benefit from our quality of life. This measure simply ensures that tourists pay their fair share for the services they use when they spend the night at local hotels.”

The Measure is subject to strict accountability provisions, including public spending reports and annual independent financial audits.

 For more information about the Palm Desert Community Safety, Vital Services and Fiscal Stability Measure, please click here.

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