CREATED Dec. 28, 2011
PALM SPRINGS - It's been a hot button issue for months, and now that Measure J has passed it's time to figure out what to do with the estimated 8 million dollars a year generated from the tax increase.
Voters passed the controversial one percent tax hike last month, giving the city 8 million a year for the next 25 years, now they're forming a committee to make sure the money is spent on projects the people want.
About 8 weeks ago the people of palm springs voted yes on measure j, increasing sales tax in the city by one percent for the next 25 years. The goal, more money for city projects; 200 million more. Money that will be partially regulated by a newly formed oversight committee.
"The purpose of that oversight commission is to monitor the revenues and the expenditures that are made consistent with Measure J," said james thompson, City Clerk, Palm Springs. "To make sure they are actually revenues and expenditures that are actually approved by the voters.
Of course, 43 million will go to revitalizing the Desert Fashion Plaza, but the other 157 million, well that's still up in the air and something the committee will help decide.
Dave baron is one of many residents applying for the committee but wants those opposed to the tax to throw their hats in the ring too
"The folks that voted no are probably people who don't like tax increases and I don't either so I understand that so I think the other part is getting more skeptical about how government spends money so I think this commission can serve both those concerns," Baron said.
The city has already said the money will be used for capital improvement projects, residents I spoke with expressing very different ideas on how those tax dollars should be used.
"The mall it's just, its never been open as long as i can remember so i wouldn'ty mind the mall being renovated, fixed up," resident William Holmes said.
"I'd like to see them spend the tax dollars on investing it in solar panels so they could sell the electricity to businesses at a discount rate and in 5 years have it so that tax payers in Palm Springs don't have to pay city taxes," resident Dean Muse said.
"Maybe the rents be more affordable for the people in all the see through buildings they have in town," Suzanne Charlebois said.
The city hoping the new committee will make sure the people are heard.
7 people will be selected for the committe and will serve a 3 year term. To apply you must be a Palm Springs resident, the deadline to apply for the Measure J Oversight Committee is January 12.