The tax was set to last through 2023, but city staff prefer to get a decision from voters well before the expiration date in the event that a renewal is rejected.
Mayor Lioneld Jordan said before the election it would be difficult to figure out how the city could operate if the tax is not renewed.
“I don’t think I can express enough how critical it is that everybody rows in the same direction here,” Jordan said.
After the results were announced, Jordan said he was relieved, but not all that surprised.
“These elections are always a little stressful,” he said. “But I did feel like we’d win it, because the people of this city really believe in what we’re doing.”
The tax, which was first enacted in 1993 with 86% approval from voters, has now been renewed three times. It generates about $22.5 million each year, and is split 60-40 between general fund operations ($13.5 million) and sales tax capital improvements ($9 million). That equates to about 27% of overall general operations revenue and 100% of the capital improvements program.