The San Jose City Council on Tuesday declined to put a tax measure on the November ballot amid potential lukewarm support, according to a published report.
The decision came after a poll found that only half of those surveyed supported a special sales tax dedicated to public safety services, short of the two-thirds needed, according to the San Jose Mercury News. The paper said Mayor Chuck Reed and other City Council members appeared more supportive of a sales tax measure on the November 2012 ballot.
At the end of May, Reed called on the council to declare a fiscal emergency in an effort to reduce pension and retiree health care benefits. But a month later, he put the idea on ice after police and fire unions agreed to a framework for negotiations on retirement reform.
The city’s annual retirement costs have quadrupled to $250 million in 2011 from $63 million in 2000. By 2016, the costs are expected to reach $400 million, according to the mayor.
San Jose’s budget this year closed a $115 million deficit by mainly reducing staff and salaries. The city expects another $78 million deficit in the next budget year, the paper said.