NEARBY DESERT HOT SPRINGS FACING DIS-INCORPORATION

NEARBY DESERT HOT SPRINGS FACING DIS-INCORPORATION

Desert Hot Springs City leaders declared a fiscal emergency Tuesday—Desert Hot Springs’ second in eight months—in order to place general tax measures on the Nov. 4 ballot. The previous fiscal emergency, declared last November, enabled the City Council to reduce employee benefits and holidays, eliminate staff by more than 70 percent and cut most salaries by 22 percent to 35 percent. Desert Hot Springs avoided bankruptcy, but the increased costs of a Police Officers Association lawsuit and the California Public Employees’ Retirement System are sapping funds this fiscal year. Mayor Adam Sanchez said, “We’re doing this because we’re trying to keep the city from being dis-incorporated, and we’ve got to have the revenue to meet payroll.” Dis-incorporation would mean Desert Hot Springs’ assets and liabilities would fall to Riverside County, which would provide only essential services. Declaring a new fiscal emergency legally allows the council to add marijuana sales and cultivation tax measures, as well as a 1 percent sales tax increase measure, to the ballot in the city’s off-year.

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