Although most of the evening will be taken up with The Standard, the Flagstaff City Council has a number of other items on its agenda tonight.
The council is set to vote on adding a 1 percent use tax to the city’s revenue stream. A use tax is a sales tax charged on items that are bought out of state but used within the city limits.
An example would be a car that is bought by a Flagstaff resident in Las Vegas and brought back and registered in Flagstaff. If the driver didn’t pay sales taxes in Las Vegas, then he or she would be subject to the use tax.
The idea is to level the playing field for local businesses that have to collect local sales taxes from customers.
The ordinance, if approved, would not collect a use tax from someone who has already paid sales taxes on an item in another city or state. The city also would not collect use taxes on items on new residents who move to the area or on casual sales between individuals.
Purchases under $1,000 that are for the personal use and enjoyment of residents are also exempt from the use tax.
According to city staff, the city charter does not require a vote of the public in order for the Council to install a use tax.
Staff estimates the use tax will bring in around $100,000 in its first year and around $250,000 for every year after.
Also on today’s agenda is an item asking Council to approve the second year of increases in recreation fees.
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As part of the 2014 budget, Council approved an increase in recreation fees that was to grow by 7 percent a year — or $70,000 — over each of three years. The increase is expected to bring in around $210,000 by the third year.
Council will also consider reinstating the $2.50 per ton landfill tipping fee. The fee was originally created in 2007 to help pay for the cost of building a new public works yard. The fee was renewed several times before Council let it fall off the books in May 2011. Staff wants to restart the fee in order to help pay for the construction of the new yard, once Council picks a location. The fee is estimated to bring in around $250,000.
Council will also consider a request from the Flagstaff Police Department to purchase 50 body cameras for officers from Taser International. The cameras and the digital storage for the video from the cameras is expected to cost around $117,000.
Council will also adopt a zoning amendment and development agreement with Evergreen-TRAX, LLC. for the construction of a shopping district between Route 66 and the railroad tracks near the Fourth Street bridge.
Council will also adopt an ordinance prohibiting graffiti in the city and placing a lien against property owners who do not clean up graffiti in a timely fashion.
The last item on Council’s agenda is approval of a texting ban within the city limits. Council is considering two options.
One option would allow drivers or cyclists to text while their vehicle was stopped at a red light or train crossing. The other would prohibit all texting while driving a car or riding a bicycle. A driver that violates the ordinance would be subject to a $100 fine. The fine increases to $250, if the driver is involved in an accident while texting.
The meeting is set to begin at 4 p.m., with The Standard set to be taken up at 6 p.m. and last until 9:30 p.m.