Mayor Steve Myers said he plans to launch a campaign in November to ask voters to raise taxes and the Pacific Area Chamber of Commerce will help promote it.
Speaking at the Oct. 2 board of aldermen meeting, the mayor responded to Alderman Herb Adams’ comments that the city had to find a way to generate more revenue.
Adams’ comments followed an announcement by City Administrator Steve Roth that increases in the cost to provide health insurance for employees is reaching a level that the city could not sustain.
“Here we ﬁnd ourselves again sweating when it comes to larger expenses,” Adams said. “The only reason we’re sweating is that we’re not generating enough funds to accommodate all of our needs.
“We have some real problems in our city and it starts with us not bringing in new revenues,” he added. “We all know about water rates. We’re afraid because it will be a huge jump.”
The huge jump is a result of the city’s reluctance to raise the water rates a little at a time over the years, Adams said.
“We need to get word out to the citizens that we need more money,” he said.
Myers said his administration is working on a tax increase proposal.
“I plan to start something in November,” he told the board.
Adams said he has confidence that citizens would support a tax increase once they recognize the need.
“Every time we let citizens know that we need new revenue and explain it, they’ve always supported us,” he said. “I have faith in citizens to approve the right thing. They supported the tourism tax and the three CID districts. I went door to door and told people what we would do.”
Adams also noted that former Mayor Jeff Titter passed the half-cent capital improvement tax.
Myers said his administration is preparing to launch a new tax ballot measure.
“We’re also working on reviving our IDA (industrial) board,” Myers said. “They are focused, energetic and willing to make something happen. I’m encouraged by that group.
“In November we will launch our campaign led by the Chamber of Commerce,” he said.
The assistance of the Chamber of Commerce is important because the city cannot go out and tell people how to vote.
“We can explain the need for additional revenue, but the Chamber of Commerce can ask for the vote,” Myers said.