Property taxes drop, sales taxes show slight gain

By: Laura Newell Telegraph staff writer
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The Folsom City Council covered a variety of items at their July 26 meeting, presenting the city manager’s fiscal year 2010/11 fourth quarter financial report and approving license agreements for excursion rail operations and resolutions approving the appropriation of redevelopment funds. Jim Francis, Folsom’s finance director, gave the fourth quarter financial report to the council. Overall, property tax is declining due to decreased property values, sales tax is showing only slight growth and development-related revenues are showing signs of slow growth. Councilman Jeff Starsky said he is concerned over property tax. The council approved a resolution of license agreement between the Sacramento-Placerville Transportation Corridor Joint Powers Authority and the Placerville and Sacramento Valley Railroad, Inc. for excursion rail operations. They also approved a resolution for grant funds from the public lands highways discretionary program for the Folsom Lake Crossing Road Bike/Pedestrian Overcrossing project. The council also authorized the city manager to submit an annexation application to the Sacramento Local Agency Formation Commission to initiate proceedings for the Folsom Plan Area Specific Plan Project (SOI). A resolution was also approved by council to the Bikeway Master Plan as part of implementation of the South of Highway 50 project. Charles McCann spoke to the council on behalf of the Folsom Area Bike Advocacy group. “This is a good start,” McCann said. “I think it could have a little tweaking, but a good start.” Bikeway Master Plan will enable future bike trails and bikeway transportation plans to be implemented to the level of the existing trails. During council comments, Vice Mayor Ernie Sheldon discussed his concern with distracted and unsafe drivers in Folsom. He said many times drivers will completely overlook a stop sign and drive through intersections dangerously. “We are not as safe in this town as we think we are in driving habits,” Sheldon said. “We are seeing absolute violations … it’s only a matter of time before someone gets killed.” Sheldon said he has been on the lookout for drivers violating laws. “Lately, I’ve tried to find out who is running those stop signs,” he said. “Unfortunately … it seems to be young women who are going through those stop signs. … We don’t anticipate a young lady doing that … but it’s happening over and over.” He asked that parents remind their kids to slow down. “It’s not only the young girls, it’s the young women,” Sheldon said. “I encourage everybody, especially the girls, to slow down.” Councilwoman Kerri Howell has been an advocate on safe driving for many years, discussing her concerns weekly about safe driving. However, she disagreed with Sheldon, and said it’s not only girls and women causing violations; many times older men are also seen causing violations while driving. She went on to say the violation that really bothers her is distracted drivers using cell phones. “The law changed a year ago that you may not be driving around (while) talking on a cell phone,” Howell said.