BRAWLEY — The Brawley city council voted to pass a resolution withdrawing support and endorsement for Measure R, which is currently on the ballot for November 3, at their regular meeting Tuesday, October 20.
Measure R calls for the extension and modernization of the Utility Users Tax (UUT) set to expire May 30, 2022, and make it permanent. The rate is now four percent. The UUT previously has been on the ballot every four years. The funds from this tax are put into the city’s general fund.
The council made the decision because of the current state of the economy due to the COVID pandemic shutdown, making it difficult for residents and businesses to shoulder an additional tax while many businesses are unable to open or open completely.
Councilman George Nava commented on the Resolution.
“Due to the COVID pandemic, it’s just not the time to put this burden on our citizens and businesses,” said Nava. “We can’t ask the public to support this Measure at this time, but we need to keep in mind that the UUT is a very important part of the city’s stream of revenue. We will just have to come back to this after the businesses are able to reopen completely and people are back to work.”
Interim city manager Tyler Salcido said that if Measure R passes, the city will move forward with the tax or the council may choose to delay its implementation. The UUT comprises 19 percent of the General Fund.
Whether the Measure passes or not, the council may revisit the UUT when the economy revives at a later date.