As of Monday, Grass Valley’s and Nevada City’s respective sales tax increases have taken effect.
Grass Valley’s sales take will go up a half of a percent to 8.125 percent, while Nevada City’s 3/8-cent increase will put its overall sales tax at 8.50 percent.
Both measures garnered at least two-thirds of voters’ support in November, even though neither required such majorities to pass. As non-specific taxes allocated to each city’s general funds, both Measure N and Measure L only necessitated a simply more than 50 percent majority to pass.
While the taxes took effect Monday, revenues are not expected to come in until the end of June, said Nevada City Manager David Brennan. Nevada City’s tax was estimated to bring close to $400,000 in the first year. Prior to the election, Measure L advocates argued it would primarily affect tourists, who would pay 65 percent of the sales tax, while locals only contribute 35 percent, according to city estimates.
Grass Valley estimates its tax will garner $2.4 million annually.
Since the economic downturn, Grass Valley’s estimated nearly $10.1 million general fund is $1.5 million lower than its fiscal year 2007-08 peak at nearly $11.56 million. Nevada City has lost $487,000 from 2008-09 levels, according to city documents.
The selling point for both taxes was that they would go to core functions of public safety and infrastructure maintenance.
In addition to ensuring those funds are used that way, Grass Valley also formed and appointed citizens to an oversight committee tasked with advising the abolition of the tax measure should the city’s tax revenues return to pre-recession levels — another of the selling points.
At recent a Nevada City Council meeting, city administrators mentioned a future public meeting aimed at garnering residential input toward sales tax revenue expenditures but have not yet announced a date for that purpose.
To contact Staff Writer Christopher Rosacker, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (530) 477-4236.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story contained an inaccurate figure for Nevada City’s new sales tax total. The Union regrets the error.