Chamber CEO Stephanie Caldwell supports the Board’s decision.
The Ventura Chamber of Commerce Board voted to support the City of Ventura’s proposed ½ cent sales tax increase during their Board Meeting on August 17. The 24-member board represents the Chamber’s 680 members who employ more than 25,000 employees.
“We felt it was prudent to support the City and support the modest tax increase that will allow critical funds to be collected for future operations,” states Stephanie Caldwell, the Chamber’s President and CEO, in a letter delivered to Mayor Erik Nasarenko, Ventura City Council and to all Ventura Chamber members. “The Chamber believes public safety is integral to our prosperity as a community, which means funding additional police officers, restoring the gang unit, and continuing to provide for the homeless task force. Additionally, it is important to secure long-term funding for Fire Station 4 which serves businesses and residents on the East End of Ventura.”
“The Chamber is committed to business growth, job creation, and new capital investments in the City,” says Caldwell. “With this in mind, the Chamber will continue to work with the City to improve our development process so that those willing to invest in Ventura have a smoother, faster, more welcoming experience. A smart approach to development creates jobs and generates tax revenue to support the City services we all care so much about.”
In particular, the Chamber intends to engage with the City on creating three revenue opportunities:
Focus Area 1. Expanding the Ventura Auto Center and attracting destination retail.
Housing solutions. Addressing the low vacancy rate and limited, high-cost housing.
Continued access. Increased opportunities for the Chamber to engage with City leaders and elected officials to enhance transparency and allow for continuous process improvement.
“The Chamber expects the City to faithfully steward these potential additional resources pursuant to its expressed plan for their use, regardless the individuals entrusted with the leadership of our City,” Caldwell adds. “The Chamber, which has been advocating for Ventura for nearly 100 years, will stay engaged with the City to ensure that the City spends any new tax revenues in the manner proposed.”