MST Study Committee Explores Continuation of Tax Measure for Fire Prevention and Road Repairs

With the Municipal Service Tax (MST) set to expire in 2018, the City Council has appointed a committee of community leaders and stakeholders to explore the continuation of the tax measure, which brings in essential revenue for wildfire prevention and road repairs. The MST Study Committee is tasked with providing the City with feedback on the community’s priorities, assessing fiscal needs, and conducting research to assess community support for continuing the tax measure. 

“The safety of our community and improvement of our infrastructure are our top priorities,” Mayor John McCauley said. “The MST funds our acclaimed fire prevention and vegetation management program. It also provides a major source of locally controlled funding for road repairs.

This group of community leaders is providing vital insight into how to continue to provide service in these crucial areas.” 

Key components of the measure include:

  • Preventing wildfires by removing brush and vegetation.
  • Creating fire breaks.
  • Improving emergency vehicle access.
  • Maintaining, repairing and improving streets.

The MST Study Committee has been meeting since the beginning of the year to explore the options to continue to fund these essential services. They have explored funding levels needed to maintain and enhance current programs, considered different funding vehicles and options, and shared ideas about community needs and priorities. Later this year, the MST Study Committee will advise the City Council on options for continuing the current parcel tax, the results and analysis of a voter survey, and next steps for seeking community participation in an MST Campaign Committee. 

The MST Study Committee is comprised of many leaders from the community to represent a variety of backgrounds and viewpoints. “I have appreciated the collaborative approach of the committee,” former Mayor Andrew Berman said. “We have really examined from all angles how to continue to improve the condition of City streets, reduce fire hazards, and shorten emergency response times. I look forward to our recommendation to Council in the months to come.” 

We thank the members of the MST Study Committee for their continued dedication and service to the City.