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September 30, 2023

Greenfield faces financial uncertainty

GREENFIELD — The City Council of Greenfield are facing unknowns in the financial future of the city because of the unknown revenue the Cannabis Business Tax and whether Measure C to aid the future of the Greenfield Fire Department will pass.

“Until we have the certified results of that election, the fate of the fire protection and emergency medical services in Greenfield are kind of in financial limbo,” Interim City Manager Jeri Corgill said.

The Greenfield Fire Protection District were part of a vote by the residents of Greenfield that concluded yesterday and would decide whether a special parcel tax would be approved or not. The approval of Measure C would mean that a tax rate would be placed on land use. A single family would pay approximately $200 per unit and a multi-family would pay $150 per unit, non residential and residential would be different with additional service capacity.

The City is working with HdL Company for consulting services on the Medical Cannabis industry and the area brings another unknown revenue source.

“It’s going to be several months before the medical cannabis industries are fully operating and it will probably be about a year before we even start getting sufficient data to project a trend for revenues from this industry,” Corgill said.

The City most recently approved 10 permit applications for cultivation and eight permit applications for manufacturing of medical cannabis on Feb. 28. The City Council approval meant that 10 Cannabis businesses would be coming into Greenfield.

In the meantime, the City will be benefit from Measure V collecting one percent in transaction and use tax along with Measure W that provides three-quarters percent on transaction and use tax. Measure W is set to sunset in five years, March 31, 2021 and is part of the 12-15 percent sales tax the City collects.

“The growth of this revenue is going to depend greatly on new retail business coming in to the city,” Corgill said. “Businesses like Dollar General that’s under construction now, and the businesses that are going to come in over the new few years at the Vines at Greenfield.”

The City also generates revenue through property tax collecting just a little bit more than 10 cents on the dollar of property tax that Monterey County collects. Additionally the city also collects some funds from the property tax in lieu of vehicle tax.

According to Corgill the City could also look into its other smaller fees such as the transient occupancy tax and the utility user tax. The current Transient Occupancy tax rate is eight percent and could potentially increase to 10 percent to be similar to other small cities in California. The utility user tax is also lower than other cities in California at three percent and could be increased to five percent.

“The economy at this point appears to be growing and the state legislative analysts office indicates that they see a growing economy fro the foreseeable future,” Corgill said. “But we do have unknowns of the outcomes of Measure C whether that’s going to bring in new revenues for the new City Fire Department and we don’t know the what the future of the Cannabis tax is.”


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