Petaluma to survey residents on tax options

Petaluma residents will get a chance to sound off on a potential new tax to pay for city services.

City Council members authorized City Manager John Brown to commission a survey of Petalumans to determine whether they are willing to approve a tax. The survey will also seek to find what kind of tax residents might support, how long it should last and what its proceeds should fund.

The hurdle to convince residents, many of whom suffered their own financial setbacks and belt-tightening during the recession, to tax themselves may be a high one. In the past decade, Petaluma voters have defeated both proposed tax increases put before them.

City leaders are considering possibly trying a third measure, likely for the November 2014 ballot. But first, Brown cautioned, the electorate's enthusiasm for a tax should be measured.

He laid out the case to council members Monday night.

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