More sales tax decisions for City Council Tuesday

Tosca Henry, Linda Norman, Vice Mayor Kyla Allen, Mayor Tim Elinski, Karen Pfeifer, Ruben Jauregui and Deb Althouse

Tosca Henry, Linda Norman, Vice Mayor Kyla Allen, Mayor Tim Elinski, Karen Pfeifer, Ruben Jauregui and Deb Althouse

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.

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