Technically, the City of Indio is not looking to raise taxes to pay for local services.
The City Council has even voted in favor of putting a measure on the November 2021 ballot, calling it the No Tax Increase Safety and Essential City Services Protection Measure.
In reality, the City is looking to extend a 1 penny increase in the sales tax that was approved by just 16-thousand voters back in November of 2016.
That increase was supposed to be for 20 years, expiring in March of 2037.
But governments rarely hold up their end of the bargain when it comes to sunset dates on taxes.
So, the measure on the November 2021 ballot would extend that 1 penny increase in the local sales tax indefinitely into the future, or until voters manage to put another measure on a future ballot specifically ending the tax increase.
The City Council says the extension of the 1 penny sales tax increase is needed to pay for police and fire services, keeping the water running, and fixing the roads in town.
Indio’s new City Manager Bryan Montgomery says the Covid-19 pandemic, continued actions by the State of California and cost increases coming from Riverside County, have placed the City of Indio in a fiscal emergency with what he calls outdated and detiorating police and fire stations, emergency operations center and 9-1-1 dispatch center.