With Measure HH, Fountain Valley residents are being asked if they’d like to pay an additional 1 percent sales tax in order to essentially maintain the status quo in the city.
The so-called “Fountain Valley 911 Response Police-Fire/Essential City Services Measure,” which, contrary to its name, does not specifically devote funding to public safety services, would generate over $11 million a year for 20 years for the city’s general fund, which may be allocated at the city’s discretion.
Voters who would prefer the certainty of knowing where the additional tax revenue will be going might want to vote against the measure and instead call on the city to pursue a special tax, specifically allocating additional revenue to public safety.
Councilman Mark McCurdy, the measure’s sole opponent on the council, has repeatedly pointed out that a 1 percent sales tax hike would place Fountain Valley among the highest taxed cities in the state, making it less competitive economically.
While it is true that the city has, unfortunately, seen budget deficits patched up with reserves for seven of the last nine years, it is also true that Measure HH would raise more than is necessary to cover ongoing shortfalls.
Fountain Valley residents, who last rejected a hotel tax in 2014 by a 60-40 percent vote, would be well advised to turn down this latest bid at a tax hike.
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