When the City Council meets Wednesday, Mayor John C. Holmberg intends to form a “Shop La Habra” committee that will study ways to encourage residents to do their buying in town.
Holmberg estimates that spending by La Habra residents outside city limits reduces potential sales tax revenues by more than $1 million annually.
The committee of 17 will be asked to offer ideas to the council by early April.
The mayor said he is eager to begin the effort because he expects an economic downturn.
“I think this is most important, because we’re looking at the future. We want to be able to pay for government services without going for increases in tax rates,” he said.
La Habra has a difficult time attracting outsiders to its stores, Holmberg said, because, “we don’t have freeway access or the large parking lots other cities have. We need to look at ways to realize growth from within the city.”
The mayor said that increased sales tax revenues are needed for added police and fire protection and other services such as parks. Increased revenues are also needed to keep up with growing costs associated with inflation, pay increases and an expanding city population, he said.
The committee will consist of five members appointed by the Chamber of Commerce and eight appointed by the council. Two council members will also be appointed, along with two members of the city staff.
The first meeting has been set by Holmberg for Jan. 9.