The financial fate of the City of Stanton will be in the hands of its voters Tuesday when they decide on two ballot measures intended to help balance the municipal budget.
On the ballot are Measures J and K. The first authorizes an increase in the city’s utility tax from 5 to 7.5 percent. If approved, the typical utility (electricity, gas, phone) user in Stanton would see his her or monthly tax bill increase by $6.
Measure K signals the city’s intent to dedicate all of the new revenue toward public safety, which means police and fire services. Stanton contracts with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department for law enforcement, and the Orange County Fire Authority for firefighting and paramedic services.
It’s estimated that Measure J would bring in nearly $1 million in tax revenue. That’s not enough to close the financial gap Stanto
n faces, but it would help. City leaders have said they are facing the need to deal with a $3 million problem; some have cautioned that if it isn’t done, the city might eventually have to disincorporate.
Another important financial decision may be made this week in Westminster on Thursday when the city council again takes up that city’s fiscal problems.
Starting at approximately 1:30 p.m., the council is expected to try to break the deadlock from earlier council meetings when agreement on a proposal to lay off 67 municipal employees was considered.
Like Stanton, Garden Grove and other cities, Westminster is facing a shortfall caused by the lingering effects of the Great Recession and the state’s end to redevelopment.
One alternative proposed to the layoffs is to use a long-term bond to tide the city over until revenues improve. Typically bond issues are used to finance construction and maintenance of buildings rather than to pay for operating costs of a city or school district.