Sacramento is in the midst of an economic revival but Mayor Steinberg says too many neighborhoods are being left behind. He's proposing a sales tax increase to fund city services and inclusive economic growth.
Steinberg says he is haunted by a certain question which keeps coming to his mind. "Why does a third grader living in South Sacramento have less of a chance in life than a third grader living in East Sacramento?"
The mayor's proposal would ask voters to double and make permanent the half cent sales tax from Measure U. The measure currently brings in $50 million per year for police, fire and parks and is set to expire next March. "Until all residents have access to jobs in the advanced industries of the future, our growth will stall," Steinberg said at a morning press conference at Sacramento City College.
Part of the new tax would create a capital fund for jobs and housing at 25 million dollars per year. Steinberg wants that money matched with other public or private money, creating a potential investment of 2 billion dollars. Another $25 million per year would go to neighborhood services and workforce development.
City council member Eric Guerra thinks it's a bold move. "Not relying on somewhere else or somebody else coming in. Let's figure out how to keep our city growing by investing in our own people," said Guerra.
Under the plan, total local sales tax would increase to 8.75 percent. The city council will begin discussions next Tuesday with the goal of putting the idea to voters this fall.