Prop. 300 provides ‘local control over local revenue’<br>Passage extends expenditure limitation; defeat locks away $3.4 million<br>

News flash: Proposition 200 is not the only issue on the primary ballot for Cottonwood.

Prop. 300, if not approved by voters, would have a bigger financial impact on the city than the repealing of the food tax. Try more than $3 million worth.

The resolution, also known as the Home Rule Option, allows Cottonwood to keep operating under an alternative expenditure limitation rather than a limitation set by the state. Voters have approved this each time it has hit the ballot since 1981.

According to Brian Mickelsen, failure of the proposition would make $3.4 million unavailable to the city. However, the City has not put together a "budget implications" summary as it did for Prop. 200 because the voters have always shown support for this issue, Mickelsen said.

He points out that this is not a tax issue.

"Our revenues have increased pretty good over the years, and this allows the city council to set its own limitations," he said. "It’s local control over local revenue."

The state’s expenditure limit for the next fiscal year at $17.9 million. Cottonwood’s estimation for its alternative limitation is $21.3 million.

If the proposition does not pass, "we would have $3.4 million over revenue that we would collect and not be able to spend," the city manager said. That could mean cutting entire departments.

By comparison, the passage of Prop. 200, which would eliminate the food tax, would take up to $615,000 from city coffers, according to city staff data.

It is state law that an alternative expenditure limitation must be approved by the electorate every four years. Cottonwood voters decide this issue March 13.

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