Council Will Decide on Parcel Tax, Term Limits on November Ballot


The Culver City Council will decide on Monday if they wish to put a parcel tax on the November ballot for voters to approve or reject.

The 1972 Clean Water Act established the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Program to regulate the discharge of pollutants from point sources to waters of the United States.

In 1990 Phase 1 of the NPDES Program established a framework for regulating municipal and industrial discharges of storm water and non-storm water. The program addressed sources of storm water and dry-weather urban runoff that had the greatest potential to negatively impact water quality.

In order to comply it is estimated to cost the City up to $125 million. The new tax would only partially fund this requirement with the average homeowner paying roughly $99 a year, generating an estimated $2 million in annual revenues that may only be used for pollution prevention and clean-up of local waterways. The city has not offered an option for funding the remaining balance.

The city’s position is to offer regulators a bone toward the problem while placating the residents by not addressing the full financial scope of the problem.

Single family residential parcels would be taxed $99, each multi-family residents would be taxed $69 per residential unit, and each improved non-residential parcel would be taxed $1,096 per acre.

Some city hall watchers have likened the approach to putting a band aid on a gushing wound.

Beyond the tax increase the council is being asked to put on the November ballot a move to consolidate more power under the city manager. Appointing the Fire Chief and Police Chief would no longer be the responsibility of the council as the city manager would appoint those positions.

Council would also take up the matter of a councilman resigning then immediately running for the position they vacated. This was an issue several years ago when Councilmember Scott Malsin resigned to keep his health insurance benefits for life then ran again several months later to win back his seat. Ultimately the voters rejected his return to the council.

Under the revisions suggested would be the ineligibility of a person who has resigned from the City Council to run for the Office of City Council Member for a period of four years from the date of such resignation.

Adding these measures to the November ballot is estimated to cost the city $100,000.


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