Cottonwood City Council may move forward with a .5-percent sales tax increase next week.
Council will meet to discuss and possibly approve a Notice of Intent for the increase Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Cottonwood City Council Chambers.
The public is invited to comment on the proposed increase. If Cottonwood moves forward with the Notice of Intent, a public hearing will be held on Aug. 7 at 6 p.m. on the proposed increase. A second hearing would be held on Sept. 4.
On May 15, council voted 4-3 to increase the sales tax by half a percent, raising it to 3.5 percent, in the hopes of trying to alleviate a more than $1.5 million deficit.
This was a slight compromise from the initially proposed .65-percent increase. The issue of whether or not to raise the sales tax has been a highly contested one with members of the community showing up at meetings to both advocate and oppose the hike.
Some argue that a slight increase will alleviate city debt and help build reserves while those who oppose the tax say its a regressive to the homeless and those on fixed incomes.
If council ends up passing an ordinance for the tax, three priorities from prospective revenues include.
• Building reserves back up for the future.
• Making additional investments in infrastructure and transportation improvements.
• Allocating additional funds toward meeting the city’s unfunded pension liabilities.
The council holds regular meetings every first and third Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m. at their Chambers Building, located 826 N. Main St. For agendas and minutes, visit http://cottonwoodaz.gov/129/Agendas-Minutes. A livestream of the meetings is also available on the Verde Valley TV YouTube channel.