Council calls election

File photo

Transient occupancy tax and a quarter-of-a-cent sales tax increase will be on the ballot

The local election season has begun. The Avalon City Council this week called the election and added two tax measures to the ballot. Technically, the council took multiple votes to pass multiple resolutions to make it happen, but that’s the gist of it.

The election

The election will be held June 7.

Two council seats and the mayor’s office will be in play in the June election, according to City Clerk Denise Radde.

The mayor will serve for two years, the council members for four years, according to a staff report.

The nomination period ends March 11, according to the resolution adopting regulations for the local election.

The county Board of Supervisors will provide the election services.

The election will cost the city $17,000, according to the staff report by Senior Administrative Assistant and Deputy City Clerk Gabrielle Morones. The city has budgeted $25,000 for the election, according to her report.

The council briefly discussed where polling places should be located. “I don’t think the voting polls should be on private property,” said Mayor Anni Marshall.

Councilmember Michael Ponce disagreed. He said he had been in many polling places located in people’s homes.

“What state were you in?” Marshall asked.

He said Sacramento.

People laughed.

The council agreed that candidate statements be limited to 200 words and that the statements and their translation should be paid for by the candidates.

However, Councilmember Lisa Lavelle asked about covering costs in order to encourage participation in the process.

Radde said candidates would not be required to pay if they qualified.

Sales tax

“A resolution calling for the placement of a 1/4 percent general transactions and use (sales) tax measure on the June 7, 2022 General Municipal Election ballot is the principal resolution which calls the election and places the measure on the June 7, 2022 ballot,” wrote Administrative Analyst and Deputy City Clerk Devin Hart in her Feb. 15 staff report.

Councilmember Cinde MacGugan Cassidy said she was not in favor of raising taxes. She was also concerned that Los Angeles County could take money away from Avalon otherwise.

Councilmember Lisa Lavelle supported the sales tax.

“It’s 25 cents on a hundred dollars,” she said.

“This is a small percentage fee, it deserves to be on the ballot,” Lavelle said.

“California pays the highest taxes in the country,” Cassidy said. “We are taxing ourselves out of being able to live here and we in Avalon are taxing ourselves out of living in Avalon.”

“Our infrastructure is shot,” Marshall said.

The sales tax was ultimately approved unanimously. So was the transient occupancy tax ballot measure.

Transient occupancy tax

The ballot measure would increase the TOT (or short term rental tax) by 1% (making it a total 13% tax), according to the staff report by Avalon’s Devin Hart.

According to Hart’s report, the money would be earmarked for the city’s General Fund for 10 years.