City manager David Garcia said Coachella lacks in diversity when it comes to economic opportunities and the city's always been strapped financially to pay for important resources to serve the community.
"We don't have a lot of resources our neighbors have. We don't have hospitality industry, the resorts," said City manager David Garcia.
To help, Coachella city leaders decided at Wednesday's council meeting to place a one percent sales tax initiative on the November ballot. A one cent sales tax would generate $2.8 million per year. The tax is needed to offset a spike in costs for police and fire protection services next year and allow the city maintain the current level of services.
It would also generate money for community improvement projects such as a new library that would triple the size of the current library, additional parks and recreation facilities as well as projects to redevelop downtown Coachella.
The City of Coachella commissioned a survey to determine if there was enough support to put a one cent sales tax initiative on the November ballot.
The survey, by Newport Beach-based Probolsky Research, found that 65.2 percent of 250 voters would support the tax increase to maintain city services including police and fire protection, the paramedic squad that was established last year as well as parks and recreation and street maintenance.
Most voters, 72.4 percent, also said they would be more likely to support the proposed tax increase knowing that it would allow the city to invest in community improvement projects, such as a new library that would triple the size of the current library, additional parks and recreation facilities and the redevelopment of downtown Coachella.
"Those are the things people said they'd be willing to support it and support it in high percentages," said Garcia.
"I think it's a good idea. If it's going to benefit the city, the people. A new library would be great," said Susana Carranza, of Coachella.
However, Garcia said some people still oppose the tax hike.
"It doesn't really matter what it's for, they don't want to pay more in taxes," said Garcia.
Seventy two percent of voters also said they were more likely to support the proposed sales tax increase knowing that most of the funds would be paid by people who visit Coachella, since most of the city's sales tax revenues are generated from gasoline sales along Interstate 10.
The tax would increase the current sales tax from 8 percent to 9 percent.
"Every city has a lot of financial needs. It will really help Coachella," said Melodee Harcourt, owner of the Oasis Thrift Store in Coachella.
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