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Council hands tax measure to voters
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Voters of Ceres will have their say on Nov. 6 on a new tax that would provide new revenues for police and firefighting services.

Last week the City Council met for a special half-hour meeting and approved the half-cent sales tax going before voters.

A parade of supporters of the measure came before the council, including a small army of uniformed police and fire personnel. Most of those who spoke were members of a special ad hoc committee formed by Chief of Police Art de Werk to make a recommendation to the council.

The sales tax is expected to generate approximately $2 million to $2.5 million annually. A two-thirds majority is needed for its passage since the council has determined the tax is a "special tax," designated for a specific expenditure.

If polling data proves true, the tax is likely to pass. A survey of 350 registered voters in Ceres was taken by a group commissioned by the Lew Edwards Group, consultants hired by the city to study the issue. The survey showed that overall support for the tax increased from 54 percent in December to 77 percent in June.

If generated, the new revenue could fund up to six new police officers and six new firefighters.