Despite the passage of the public safety levy earlier this month, Grants Pass Police and Fire still face a critical funding shortfall.
The City has created a survey that is open to residents and business owners within the city of Grants Pass so they may tell us how they would like the City to resolve the funding issue. The respondent’s residence or business address is required to verify residency or business ownership.
The survey presents the following six options.
Option 1 - Utility Fee: This would add a public safety fee to the utility bill. Residents, businesses, and non-profits that receive a city utility bill would pay this fee. The fee would start around $27/month per household and $88/month for most businesses/non-profits. Any utility fee imposed would increase annually based on inflation.
Option 2 - Food & Beverage Tax: This funding mechanism would implement a tax on prepared food and beverage purchases within the city. We estimate a rate of 7% would be sufficient. This tax would only apply to foods and beverages prepared for immediate consumption and would exclude groceries and other retail purchases.
Option 3 - General Sales Tax: This funding mechanism would implement a general sales tax on retail purchases. We estimate a rate of 2% would be sufficient. Essentials such as groceries and prescription medications would not be taxed.
Option 4 – Utility Fee/Sales Tax: This funding mechanism would implement both a utility fee and a general sales tax. The rates for the utility fee and general sales tax would be distributed to achieve the required funding for police and fire and could ease the fee and/or tax rate.
Option 5 – Utility Fee/Food & Beverage Tax: This funding mechanism would implement both a utility fee and a food & beverage tax. The rates for the utility fee and food & beverage tax would be distributed to achieve the required funding for police and fire and could ease the fee and/or tax rate.
Option 6 - Reduce police/fire staffing: If another funding source is not enacted, significant staffing reductions would occur, affecting police, fire, and other city departments, and would result in a reduced level of service.
Grants Pass residents and business owners wishing to take the survey can use the following link: https://survey.alchemer.com/s3/7615203/City-of-Grants-Pass-Public-Safety-Funding-Options