Improving Public Safety for the Citizens of Visalia
What does Measure T fund?
In 2004, the citizens of Visalia approved a 1/4 cent sales tax to increase public safety efforts by enhancing police and fire services in the community. The Measure T plan outlines how the sales tax money would be used to improve public safety. The plan calls for the following to be done in the next 10 years through 2014:
The legislative authority specifies the funds can only be used for public safety. As a check and balance on this requirement, there will be an independent citizen’s advisory oversight committee and an independent accounting firm will conduct an annual audit.
Why are we doing this?
In the last 10 years, the state has taken more than $17 million from Visalia in property tax and other revenues. In 2003/2004 alone, the state hit to Visalia will be over $3 million. Without these monies, it has become increasingly more difficult to balance our own budget and fund City services.
To resolve this, the City Council has been looking for ways to secure local revenues the state can’t raid. In 2002, the Council and others worked very hard to persuade the state legislature to give Visalia special authorization to hold a sales tax election. The legislature agreed, if the revenues would go to fund police and fire.
According to surveys the city has conducted, Visalians favor a sales tax increase if the money will go to police and fire. Based on this information, the City Council directed staff to develop a plan that would give Visalians more control over their safety. Input more than 1,000 citizen surveys and comments as well as a Citizen’s Task Force were used in developing the Plan.
For More Information
Copies of the full, multi-page plan are available on the City website, the front desk at City Halls West and East, at the Corporation Yard, the Police Satellite Offices and at the Visalia Branch of the Tulare County Library.
Measure T Public Safety Expenditure Plan
Measure T Guidelines
Measure T Audit Presentation