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Adelanto City Council to discuss special tax on vacant land for November ballot

ADELANTO, Calif. ( — The Adelanto City Council is expected to discuss a ballot measure to adopt a tax on every piece of vacant land within the City to generate much needed revenue.

City Staff is proposing the Council approves their recommendation to direct staff to prepare an ordinance to submit to voters at the general consolidated election on November 3, 2020.

The ordinance will be to adopt a special parcel tax on vacant land in the amount of $600 for both residential vacant parcels, and non-residential vacant-parcels.

Nearly 30% of parcels within the city are vacant. It’s estimated that 3,976 of the 13,310 parcels are vacant land. That’s more than 25,000 acres combined.

“This vacant land negatively impacts the community, attracting crime, blight, and illegal dumping. In addition, these vacant properties take up space that could be used for housing or commercial development,” City Staff stated.

The City of Adelanto has regularly experienced structural budget deficits for several reasons over the last two decades.

“To its credit, the City has been able to continue operations over the years through the use of one-time moneys; however, those funds have been depleted and are no longer available to support general fund obligations such as police and fire,” the document stated.

“To address this ongoing problem, additional revenue sources must be identified. One approach is to levy a special tax on every vacant parcel of land (real property) within the City,” it read.

Should the special tax be approved by the voters, the revenue is estimated to be $2.4 million per year, which 50% will be earmarked for public safety or $1.2 million, Parks and Recreation is proposed to receive 20% ($480,000), Illegal Dumping 10% ($240,000), and Capital Projects 20% ($480,000).

City Staff is also requesting to appropriate $95,000 for legal and public education services, which if approved will have a fiscal impact of $95,000 for fiscal year 2019/2020, the proposal showed.

Adelanto City Council Meetings are held on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month. The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday March 11, 2020 in the City Council Chambers located at 11600 Air Expressway, Adelanto, CA 92301. Open session begins at 7:00 p.m.

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