By Staff Reports
(Apple Valley)– Last evening the Apple Valley Town Council unanimously voted to place a 1% sales tax measure on the November 3, 2020 general election ballot for voters to consider.
If approved by Apple Valley voters, the measure would generate approximately $7 million annually for the Town’s general fund which is used to fund law enforcement officers, pay for road construction, improve parks and ballfields, host community events, concerts and recreation programs, and provide reserves to be prepared for future crises or revenue impacts.
The Town has always done more with less.
Apple Valley’s sales tax revenues are significantly lower than neighboring cities, largely due to the lack of freeway frontage which helps generate business and sales from interstate travelers and commuters. Apple Valley’s estimated sales tax revenues in 2020-21 is $6.4 million; by comparison, Hesperia budgeted $9 million in sales and use tax revenues for 2020-21 and Victorville estimates $20.5 million.
The Town also estimates it will lose $3.53 million in revenues due to COVID impacts this budget year alone. However, with the changing scope of closures from the state, the final financial impact will not be known until after the pandemic has ended.
“Each of us recognizes the importance of this moment,” said Mayor Scott Nassif, referring to the unanimous vote. “Our revenues either have to increase or will be forced to make drastic cuts to public safety and amenities, services and staff, and ultimately change the lifestyle of Apple Valley, which was just voted the best place to live in the desert for the ninth straight year.”
In a press release issued last week, the Town stated that rising public safety costs and reduced tax revenues brought on by the COVID-induced economic downturn were primary concerns for the Town Council.
“Budget cuts alone will not close the deficit due to the rising cost of law enforcement, estimated to climb nearly $1 million each year for the next several years, especially with the added impact of COVID on our businesses and tax revenues,” said Town Manager Doug Robertson. “If the sales tax measure does not pass, I do not believe future budgets could be balanced without reducing our contract with the Sheriff’s Department. However, before we could legitimately ask the Council to consider such a cut to public safety, we would first make cuts in recreation and aquatics programs, concerts, events, the golf course and more.”
This will be the first time Apple Valley voters have considered a sales tax measure. The Town has not raised taxes in its 32 years of incorporation.
For more information please contact the Town’s Public Information Office at firstname.lastname@example.org