Exeter council to hear from citizens on sales tax measure

Seven member citizen committee in Exeter is charged with recommending council with sales tax options

By Paul Myers

EXETER – Exeter City Council has heard plenty about the city’s lack of funding in the general fund. Now, select community members are going to hear the same thing, and recommend what should be done about it.

During their Jan 28 meeting, the Exeter City Council commissioned the Proposed Revenue Measure Advisory Committee. The seven-person committee is made up of: Jim Tyler, Sandy Blankenship, Patricia Thompson, Ted Macaulay, Bob Dickey Jr., Wes Grim and Alicia Handley. Their second meeting is Wednesday, Feb. 12.

The purpose of the committee, as laid out by the city, is to review the available information from city staff and make recommendations to the city council over a sales tax measure. The committee will also review city services and associated needs and budgets. Many of which have already been out lined by staff to council. 

Outlined as well is the committee’s desired level of service that the community wants. Finance director Chris Tavarez has noted several times during city council presentations that services will suffer in the future if the city does not begin to collect more tax revenue. Chief of Police John Hall echoed his comments during a presentation in early January where he outlined the difficulty to maintain the police department’s standards. 

City manager Adam Ennis said that the committee will make the recommendation to provide a percent of sales tax increase to the council if one at all. The committee is slated to meet every Wednesday at city hall through March. This Wednesday they will review city finances and the general fund. Over the next five Wednesdays they will review public safety and code enforcement, roads, parks and recreation and facility maintenance. Then they will consider measure details, oversight and develop a recommendation to council.

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