It’s been more than two years since Measure F—the temporary half-cent sales tax went into effect—and more than $9 million has been collected.
So how has the money been spent?
Approximately $720,000 went to programs, services and staffing, including:
· the Hamilton base reuse program,
· creating the economic development program after the elimination of redevelopment agencies
· supporting for Novato Police Department’s Response Team program, the folks that respond to abandoned vehicles, etc,
· hiring an additional streets, landscape maintenance worker,
· giving out scholarships for low‐income youth recreation,
· emergency preparedness training.
Another $548,000 has been used to offset the General Fund.
But more than $7 million remains in the kitty and another $10 million is expected before the measure expires in April 2016. So, how should the city spend the remainder of the money? And should the measure be renewed again?
For now, Novato wants to use nearly $300,000 to recruit bio-tech and life sciences companies to town, especially the Bel Marin Keys area. The argument is these companies will not only generate funds for the city, but also high-paying jobs for residents and a trickle down effect on surrounding businesses.
Additionally, the city wants to use $78,000 of taxpayer money to extend the Shop Local campaign until February of next year. The effort, started this summer, is a partnership between the city and the Downtown Novato Business Association and tries to encourage local spending through discounts and contests where customers can win free merchandise.
How do you think the rest of Measure F funds should be spent? And is funding the Shop Local Novato campaign a good use of the money?