The Indio City Council voted unanimously on July 21 to place a local funding measure extension on the November 2021 ballot. If approved by voters, “City of Indio No Tax Increase Safety/Essential City Services Protection Measure” would extend the city’s current voter-approved 1-percent sales tax measure until ended by voters, allowing the city to address local public safety, fire, medical and emergency response needs while maintaining current city services including water security and street repair, using funding that cannot be taken by Sacramento.
“In today’s climate, our residents understand the importance of maintaining the essential public safety services needed to keep our schools, parks, and neighborhoods safe,” said City Manager Bryan Montgomery. “COVID, continued actions by the State, and cost increases by the county have placed us in a fiscal emergency. Extending current voter-approved local funding will allow Indio to continue taking care of its own- retaining police officers, firefighters and paramedics, upgrading 9-1-1 communications systems, replacing outdated fire trucks and ambulances, and continuing to keep our children safe.”
Currently, Indio’s 9-1-1 dispatch center, police station, neighborhood fire stations and the emergency operations center are all outdated and deteriorating, do not comply with today’s state earthquake safety standards and do not meet the local first-responders’ needs. Additionally, critical water conservation and delivery systems need continued funding.
“The City of Indio always puts the voice of local voters first,” continued Montgomery. “We had a choice of delaying critical public safety, water security and infrastructure repair needs, or to give our voters the opportunity to consider extending locally-controlled funding until a time of their choosing, without any increase in the current tax rate. With today’s action, the council has elected to allow the community to decide. We encourage all eligible Indio residents to vote in the upcoming November election.”
The local funding extension measure placed on the ballot by the Council continues strict accountability provisions, including annual independent audits and online expenditure reports available for public review, and citizens’ oversight. Further, all funds raised must be used for Indio city services and by law, these funds cannot be taken by state politicians.