Tax and Fee Increases: June 27 Santee City Council Agenda Summary

This meeting: Ballot measures presented for TOT tax and fire fee increases, finalization of new city fee structure.

Below is a summary of what is due to occur at this week's Council meeting. Santee Patch regularly livestreams video of Council meetings and reports on important happenings, so check back for the lowdown on the meeting.

The next  begins Wed., June 27, 2012 at 7 pm:

Public Hearings

In Feb., 2011 the City Council decided to perform a cost allocation plan and comprehensive study of city user fees. A report on the newly suggested fee schedule has been returned and the council must discuss and vote whether to confirm the new prices. The new fees could result in ans estimated $471, 690 average annual increase in cost recovery for the city. This is the final public hearing for this topic.

Continued Business

The council voted during the April 25 meeting to draft ballot measures that would increase hotel taxes and fire protection fees in Santee. They are presenting those ballot measures at the June 27 meeting.

The two tax/fee increase proposals would appear on the upcoming November ballots. The council said they are necessary- the City of Santee's . $3.4 million has been taken from since 2008, and the has and will continue to take a bite out the budget.

The first tax increase would be the city's Transient Occupancy Tax, which applies to guests of hotels, a raise from 6 to 10 percent is suggested in the draft.

Currently Santee has the lowest TOT in the county, 6 percent, versus a high of 13 percent in Solana Beach. The city estimates revenue of $116,300 from TOT this fiscal year. An increase in TOT tax rate would require a majority vote by the public.

Also under consideration is an increase in the rate of the City's special parcel tax for fire protection services (aka Fire Benefit Fee), in the draft materials the fee is increased by 50 percent.

This fee is currently $41 annually per "dwelling unit" and commercial and industrial units. It would rise to $61.50. The city estimates $923,000 in revenue from the fee this fiscal year. In order to increase the FBF a two-thirds super majority of the public would have to vote in favor.

Each measure would cost about $26,000 to $30,000 to put on the ballot.

If you want to publicly comment on any topic, fill out a speaker slip at the beginning of the meeting.

For more detailed information see the full council agenda in the media box or download here.

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Joe Spencer June 27, 2012 at 03:44 AM
Seems that a consideration should be to increase sales tax instead of nickel and diming other areas trying to come up with a large shortfall. Two neighboring cities are above the 7.75% rate....El Cajon is at 8.75% and La Mesa is at 8.50%, Why not at least CONSIDER an increase? It may not be the most desirable choice...but hard to argue that it wouldnt be the most effective. Ah yes..that would take away the great campaing of shopping Santee because it has the lowest tax rate in East County. (Tied for the lowest tax rate with other cities at 7.75% actually). As if a rash of people are flocking to Santee because the sales tax rate is 1% cheaper than El Cajon. On a $200 purchase...a 7.75% sales tax generates $15.50 while an 8.75% generates $17.50. With the price of gas being what it is...do you REALLY think someone is driving from El Cajon to Santee just to save $2.00??? It's LESS than that if they arent spending $200. The reason people DO come to Santee from other areas is because it is a CLEAN community with MANY shopping choices. In order to keep it that way...you have to have income coming in for the costs associated with maintaining the city. I'm not sure what kind of income would be generated with even a small increase to say 8.25%..which still leaves us behind El Cajon and La Mesa...but I would venture to guess it would be significantly more than the estimated amounts listed above. If you are going to address a real problem....do so with real solutions
Mary June 27, 2012 at 05:31 PM
I appreciate the lower tax rate in Santee. When you add up all the non-food items we purchase in a year, it adds up. Diapers, school clothes and supplies, cleaning materials, toilet paper and kleenex, etc., etc., etc. I like the idea charging a higher Transient Occupancy Tax to guests of hotels and motels, but I believe the tax for fire protection services should higher for commercial and industrial units than it is for a single family dwelling.
Maggie Acerra June 27, 2012 at 07:07 PM
Times are really tough, and people are not in the mood to clean up the mess that our elected City Rep's have placed us in, by being forced to pay additional sales taxes on everyday purchases. Yes, WE KNOW, the redevelopment funds are GONE - as the our City Hall repeats over and over and over again. I guess they thought the "good times" would last forever? Santee citizens are just going to have to realize that their City Hall overextended in it's quest to become the "La Jolla of East County" Filing lawsuits against the county, regarding the expansion of Los Colinas, and spending taxpayer money on a lawsuit they knew they had no chance of winning. City Hall knew about the expansion 20 years ago and built up the area anyway. That didn't exactly help the bottom line in Santee's budget. Hoping things go your way is not the right way to govern in the first place and it leads to this governing in panic mode that our current City Council is now exhibiting with their recent actions. They really are feeling "the crunch" they've place themselves and the Santee citizens in, aren't they? They know they would be in deep trouble with both the citizens and businesses here if they raised those sales taxes because that would really put them on everyone's radar, wouldn't it? The power plant fiasco is bad enough! No, the TOT and the FBF are the lesser evils, just don't think about the $60,000 you have to cough up on top of it.


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