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COVID-19 Business Resources in Monterey County, California

Monterey City Council Votes to Declare Fiscal Emergency and Puts Sales Tax Increase on City’s March 2020 Ballot

Monterey City Council Votes to Declare Fiscal Emergency and Puts Sales Tax Increase on City’s March 2020 Ballot

At its meeting last night (November 19, 2019), the Monterey City Council voted to declare a "fiscal emergency" and to place a ½ cent sales tax increase on the March 2020 ballot. Both votes were unanimous. Your Chamber has not taken a formal position on the tax increase yet, but it has been the public leader in analysis and comment during the legislative process. 

 Local businesses have told the Chamber that, while they understand the city’s need for additional revenue, they also want to see the city take a close look at ways to limit or reduce expenditures. The Chamber has also obtained a list of the 25 businesses in the City of Monterey that collect the most sales taxes. The businesses are mostly Chamber members.

In response to concerns received, your Chamber's Government Affairs Liaison examined the city budget and identified several areas worthy of additional scrutiny: 

  • liability and property insurance
  • parking fund expenditures
  • police and fire personnel (particularly concerning pension obligations)
  • salaries of administration and management
  • the city attorney’s office
  • and operations and debt service of the Monterey Sports Center

Chamber leaders have been speaking at city council meetings and have had regular meetings with city officials to discuss these line items and the budget in general. During these discussions, the Chamber and the City of Monterey have discussed and implemented new ways for the city and the business community to cooperate in promoting economic prosperity
 
City staff is now providing the Chamber with information from an economic analysis consulting firm about the City of Monterey. It has asked the Chamber to provide advice on boundaries of city “geo-areas” - neighborhoods with similar circumstances that can be analyzed closely for economic development purposes.  
 
And the Chamber has asked for assistance from the city in obtaining a prominent physical location for the Chamber at a reasonable cost that would help economic development and outreach to visitors.