Rio Vista's three-quarter-cent sales and use tax measure passed by 70 percent of the votes with all of the precincts reporting. Proponents say that Measure O will retain crucial public safety services and quality-of-life programs for the fiscally-strapped city.
The local tax measure includes a five-year sunset and it required a majority vote to pass. City officials said that it will provide enough revenue for Rio Vista to weather the next five years and deal with its looming deficit.
"I was pleased that the residents got it. They understood our situation and gave us some breathing space," Rio Vista Mayor Jan Vick said. "We are going to have to make some hard decisions, but it will allow us time to get on our feet financially."
Without its passage, the city would have been forced to consider critical cuts to the fire and police departments, parks, recreation and city staff. In the past five years, Vick noted that the city's general fund revenue has dropped by 42 percent, and the Rio Vista City Council has been making continual cuts, including one-third of the city staff.
Measure O's passage will allow the city to build up its reserves and help Rio Vista to cut its way out of a huge deficit, according to Vick.
"All of the taxes and revenue issues in Solano County passed," she said. "People seemed to be willing to support revenue measures at the local level because they see that local government has been hurt by the economy and
Measure O was strongly endorsed by the Rio Vista Professional Firefighters Association and the Rio Vista Police Officers' Association.
"They put out their own money and very visibly supported Measure O," Vick said. "This was very significant in getting it passed."
There was no unified opposition to the local tax measure.
Contact Paula King at 925-779-7174.