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Union City Sales Tax to Increase April 1

Starting next month, Union City residents will pay 10.25 percent sales tax for purchases within city limits. The new rate is among the highest in the state.

Come April 1, Union City will have one of the highest sales tax rates in the state.

According to the California State Board of Equalization, Union City is one of 13 cities across California with voter-approved sales tax increases starting next month.

In November, , a temporary half-cent sales tax increase that set Union City’s new rate at 10.25 percent. The measure was approved with a 60 percent vote and will expire four years from the starting collection date.

"I think it speaks highly for Union City voters," Mayor Mark Green told Union City Patch after the election. "I think the citizens realized that Union City has been tightly run for a number of years. The city voters saw that the sacrifice is worth it."

The higher tax will account for a 50-cent increase in the cost of a $100 item. It is expected to generate $3.5 million annually for the city’s general fund, according to city officials. The new revenue will help restore city services that were cut in the last two years, Administrative Services Director Richard Digre said.

In January, the city council approved budget restorations (based on projections) for $660,189 worth of services that were previously eliminated. Among the rescinded positions that were restored are a full-time police officer, a Public Works engineer, an associate planner in the Economic and Community Development Department and a recreation supervisor for the Senior Center, according to a staff report.

The new revenues would also restore library hours and pay for consultation services for the city.

“We went to each department and said: ‘Of all your cuts, what do you think is most important?’” Digre said.

Next year, city staff will look at the remaining budget funds and again review which positions and services need to be restored.

The new tax puts Union City among several California cities breaking the 10 percent sales tax threshold.

El Cerrito will be the only other Bay Area city with the same tax rate as Union City. In Los Angeles County, the cities of El Monte and Santa Monica approved tax increases to 10.25 percent. However, the highest current tax rates remain in Pico Rivera and South Gate, both in Los Angeles County, which have sales and use tax rates of 10.75 percent, according to the Board of Equalization.

In the Bay Area, sales tax rates will also rise in San Leandro, Concord, El Cerrito, Novato and Santa Rosa.

However, sales tax rates may drop by 1 percent in July if Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to place a 2009 sales tax extension on a June special election isn’t approved by state legislature and voters.

For a full list of tax increases in the state, see the document above.

Zolla March 22, 2011 at 01:25 PM
Well, I guess I'll be spending my money else where. A penny saved is a penny earned.
Grecco March 22, 2011 at 07:32 PM
This is how democrats resolve budget problem - increase taxes...Squeeze money out from the middle class... Rgiht! lets bring back the fat salaries/ retirements of those public officials, unions,etc... If only ppl know how much these ppl get.... oh well.. let's see how local businesses will thrive with this new tax increase. Coz we won't be going to local groceries/stores anymore... we are cash strapped too...I won't be surprise if they close down....I'm thinking target may be next in the chopping block..
Zoneil Maharaj March 22, 2011 at 07:50 PM
Hi Grecco, actually, the city posts salaries on their website and the state controller maintains a database of all city employees ever since that whole scandal in So Cal. We ran a story on Union City salaries back in October: http://patch.com/A-Sll Hope this helps! And thanks Zolla and Grecco for your comments. I always appreciate the discussion.
Zolla March 22, 2011 at 08:56 PM
You know, if the city would do their jobs, their wouldn't be a problem. I live on Union Square where they just put in parking meters along the street on both sides. Between 8am & 8pm it's paid parking. Everyday like clock work the meter reader comes by to check vehicles. Between 9am & 9:30am and again at 3:30pm & 4pm. Everyday I watch people who don't work, move there vehicle then park it right back in the same spot without paying a dime after he leaves. Hell, if it's after 5pm no one pays. From what I have heard, the fine is like $155.00. On any given evening, I can count at least 10 or more vehicles on this street that did not pay for their parking. That's $1,550.00 that was not collected. I know, you can't expect someone to be there 24/7, but gee, ya think they would mix up the times they do their checks would be more productive or even swing by at 6:30pm.

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