Petition was questioned by county officials; state formula wouldn’t give the city any money without a new census.
Fairfield Ledger, June 10, 2003
By Erik Gable, Ledger staff writer
Vedic City officials submitted a petition May 30 to enact a local option sales tax in the city and withdrew it Monday after discovering state law would not allow them to get any money from the tax without a new census.
The petition asked Jefferson County supervisors to declare an election in Vedic City for a local option sales tax to “support peace creating experts and facilities for those experts.” It had come under scrutiny by county officials concerned about the legality of such an election and the fairness of Vedic City’s proposed use for the money.
Municipalities in Jefferson County enacted a county-wide penny sales tax in 1998 and 1999, with cities and the unincorporated areas all pledging at least 60 percent of their proceeds from the tax to paying off the new Jefferson County Law Center.
When Vedic City was incorporated in 2001 out of the former Maharishi Center for Perfect Health and World Peace, it dropped out of the local option sales tax program. People doing business in the city are no longer required to collect the tax, and Vedic City does not receive any proceeds.
After the local option sales tax is collected, it goes into a single pot for the county and is divided between all the governing bodies that have a tax in place. Distribution is based on a region’s population and its property values from 20 years ago, rather than on where the money was collected.
When Vedic City submitted its petition asking for a local option sales tax referendum in the city, supervisors began to ask whether Vedic City could, by itself, enact a local option sales that would affect revenues for the rest of the county.
They also questioned the fairness of Vedic City using a portion of the sales tax money collected in the county and not using any of it to retire the law center debt.