The City Council of Santa Ana has placed a tax increase measure on the November ballot, Measure X, that would increase sales tax in Santa Ana by 1.5 percent. If it passes, Santa Ana taxpayers and anyone who shops in Santa Ana would be paying the highest sales tax in Orange County, according to the OC Taxpayers Association.
The city is upside-down financially, with shortfalls estimated to grow from $10 million this fiscal yearto a nearly $40 million per-year shortfall in the 2021 fiscal year, in a series of deepening gaps, according to the Voice of OC.
A major factor in the worsening budget shortfalls was the cancellation of the city’s jail contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), while leaving many of the jail staff in place without another revenue source to fully replace the ICE contract, according to the Voice of OC.
While not all of a city’s sales taxes are paid by its residents, the $63 million per year, when divided by the city’s roughly 75,000 households, comes out to an average of about $840 per year per household, or $8,400 over the first 10 years of the tax increase.
Santa Ana Councilman Jose Solorio and Mayor Miguel Pulido both opposed placing Measure X on the ballot.
Pulido suggested instead that the City could look at other ways of raising money, like having non-police employees pay more toward their pensions, and signing new contracts for law enforcement to fill empty beds in the city jail, which has had hundreds of empty beds since the ICE contract was cancelled.
The City of Santa Ana is also in a financial hole because the current City Council majority handed out huge pay increases to top city executives last year – and also fooled the voters into giving the City Council, which is part-time, a large raise. The City Council Members also get pensions and health care benefits and a generous car allowance.
The City Council majority, led by Councilman Sal Tinajero, also has hired two City Managers in a row who were vastly overpaid.
Many of Santa Ana’s residents are living in abject poverty. Raising sales taxes will hurt them the most! It will also be devastating to the many senior citizens who are living on fixed incomes.
Tinajero has a lot of nerve running for Mayor after he led our City into financial ruin. He was of course the mastermind behind the cancellation of the ICE jail contract.
Vote no on Measure X and vote against Tinajero and all of his allies. We need new leadership on the Santa Ana City Council! We can fix our city’s budget problems by electing responsible Council Members who won’t waste our tax money.