Exeter seeks citizens to oversee tax measure

Measure P Oversight Committee will work to ensure city spends new sales tax revenue on improving public safety and public works

EXETER – More than two-thirds of Exeter voters approved the city’s first ever sales tax measure, but even those who voted against it will want to make sure it’s being spent appropriately.

Residents will have that opportunity if they serve on the city’s Measure P Oversight Committee. Approved by voters in November, Measure P increases sales tax within the city limits by one percent to 8.75%, bringing Exeter’s rate equal to similar sized cities such as Farmersville, Lindsay and Woodlake. It would be 25 cents higher than Visalia and Dinuba but 75 cents lower than Porterville.

It is projected to bring in an additional $800,000 per year in revenue, according to city officials. Revenue from the sales tax would go toward the city’s general fund where it would primarily fund public safety (police and fire) and public works (water, sewer and roads) but could be used for other needs if those issues are adequately addressed.

The tax takes effect on April 1, 2021 but the work of keeping expenditures from the revenues in line with its intent has already began. The oversight committee was one of several accountability measures included in the tax increase.

“The Measure P Oversight Committee would review the annual revenues from Measure P and the proposed annual budget expenditures and present opinions to the Council regarding the expenditures being consistent with the desires of the community,” city administrator Adam Ennis said.

Applications and an information sheet have been available since Dec. 23 but few people have applied due to the holidays and possibly the pandemic. Committee applications are available at cityofexeter.com under the Measure P tab. Applications are due to the City by 2 p.m. on Jan. 19 and can be returned in-person to city hall, 137 N. F St., by mail to City of Exeter, P.O. Box 237, Exeter, CA 93221 or by emailing [email protected].

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