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Hemet’s sales-tax measure has helped make the city safer

By in Press Enterprise on November 5, 2017

By Craig Shultz

One year ago, Hemet voters agreed to pay an extra penny per dollar in sales tax to improve public safety, and city leaders say the program has been successful.

Both the police and fire departments have added people and increased their services, and Police Chief Dave Brown said crime is down.

“I’m very satisfied so far and excited about the changes,” Mayor Linda Krupa said. “The dollars are being spent exactly as expected. Things are moving forward.”

“I’m very satisfied so far and excited about the changes,” Mayor Linda Krupa said. “The dollars are being spent exactly as expected. Things are moving forward.”

Approved by voters Nov. 8, 2016, Measure U is a general tax that can be spent any way the City Council sees fit — but all five members have vowed that the money will be used only for public safety.

The measure is expected to raise $10 million per year, and city leaders said revenue is ahead of projections.

Total revenue received from Measure U for the 2016-17 fiscal year was $2,449,359, Interim City Manager Allen Parker reported. The money has been collected since April.

Of that, $168,621 was spent by fire and $492,937 by police leaving $1,135,511, which rolls into the current fiscal year and is available along with new Measure U funds.

Krupa said an improved economy has helped, but she believes consumers have become aware of the benefits of shopping locally.

“By doing that, that extra 1 cent is really contributing to improving public safety in the community,” she said.

Emergency response vehicles purchased with the additional sales tax money will be branded with stickers stating “Made possible by Measure U.”

“This places an important focus on the response improvements made with the help of Measure U,” said Fire Chief Scott Brown, no relation to the police chief.

Since the Measure U plan was […]    

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