Measure J Commission Meets for the First Time
Photo: Video by kmir6.com
PALM SPRINGS - A group of people in Palm Springs are now working on how to spend your tax dollars for the betterment of the city.
Monday night was the first night the new Measure J Oversight Committee sat down together.
Meet the faces of the new Measure J Oversight Committee.
They will be deciding where millions of dollars go.
That money comes from Measure , a one percent sales tax hike approved by voters in November
"This is one of the biggest days for the city of Palm Springs knowing that the Measure J is going to generate an excess of a quarter of a billion dollars over 25 years," said commission member Aftab Dada, the general manager of the Hilton Palm Springs.
About 43 million will go to the revitalization the Desert Fashion Plaza in downtown Palm Springs.
But then the commission will decide how to use about 4.8 million annually.
"I grew up here in Palm Springs, graduated from Palm Springs High School, and returned here and I have a family and am interested in returning the downtown to what it used to be," said commission member Kristin Bloomer, a financial planner with Franz Tatum Wealth Management.
But the group of nine with two alternates will not just focus on downtown.
"There are many many other projects including the greening of Palm Springs, etcetera, education and so on, so its a lot more than just downtown or just paving a street," said commission member Leo Cohen, who is retired after a long career in the retail industry.
Many people applied for a commission seat, and many residents will be paying close attention to how they spend their money.
"I think that many people in Palm Springs feel that its not enough to build a new and fancy mall downtown, but we have to have more tourists here to spend money in restaurants and hotels and shops," said Palm Springs resident, Jack Kimberling.
Businesses started charging the extra one percent tax in April.
And with the first payment arriving in June, there will be many decisions to make in the years to come.
"There's lots of eyes on how we do this. We can be a national role model on how this works," said Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet.
The commission voted to hold the public meetings every third Thursday of the month at 4PM.