In a divisive 4-1 vote the Adelanto city council voted Wednesday night to place a Utility Users Tax (UUT) measure before the voters to save the city from dire fiscal consequences. The proposed UUT rate would be 7.95 percent.
The measure was presented to the council as perhaps the last best hope to prevent the municipality from filing for bankruptcy. Finance Director Onyx Jones said Adelanto's cash balances are expected to be depleted by 2015, while the city continues to maintain a $2.6 million deficit.
"As a finance director, this is a frightening place to be," Jones said. "We meet all the tests to file for bankruptcy."
California City News reported yesterday on Adelanto's looking to recieve more immigrants at a federal detention facility located in the city. The city would get .75 cents per day per bed filled in the detention center. The city clearly is examining all options, including disincorporation, as a way to continue to provide city services.
Public support for the UUT measure isnt a sure thing as numerous residents voiced concern about the proposed tax.
Initially proposed as a five year tax, the plan was extended to seven years before the city council approved it, with a caveat that the rate could be lowered or eliminated if the citys financial health improves.
"I have a problem with the whole thing," said Kim Smith, a retired Los Angeles Metro Bus Supervisor and Adelanto homeowner. "Because you can't balance your own budget you want us to pay a tax? For a city that never should have been a city in the first place?"
More on the Adelanto situation here.