A proposed property tax, designed to provide a permanent source of money for police, paramedics and street and park maintenance, has won the support of the city's Financial Advisory Committee.
The City Council, however, is not expected to discuss the proposal until it has received information on the size of properties in the city that will be used as the basis of the tax. The city will purchase the information from county agencies.
The new 15- to 20-year general tax was recently proposed by the council-appointed Tax Equity Committee to replace the current system in which voters are asked every two years to decide on special taxes for specific city services. It also would replace a utility users tax used to finance capital improvements.
The proposal calls for a two-part rate structure, based on both the square footage of land parcels and the square footage of habitable structures. The current tax rates are uniform despite the size or usage of property. The new tax requires voter approval.
Robert Ringle, chairman of the tax committee, said the city must know the exact sizes of land parcels and structures in order to establish tax rates that will provide the amount of money needed. The two current property taxes and the utility tax bring in $2.7 million a year.