Press Release: Benicia to Provide Double Oversight on Proposed Tax Measures


Two Oversight Committees for Measure A and Measure B


The City of Benicia announced that there will be two Citizen Oversight Committees to ensure that the funds generated from its upcoming tax measures are used legally and as promised to the taxpayers of Benicia.


“We want to ensure transparency and accountability to Benicia’s taxpayers when it comes to Measure A and Measure B,” said Mario Giuliani, Benicia City Manager.


These Oversight Committees will be responsible for ensuring accountability should Measure A and Measure B pass at the March 5, 2024 Statewide Presidential Primary Election.


While California law does not require oversight committees for local tax measures, the City of Benicia is taking this extra step to ensure transparency and accountability.


Both proposed measures will have strict accountability requirements, including public disclosure of all spending and an Independent Citizen Tax Oversight Committee.


Measure A increases the hotel tax, also known as Transient Occupancy Tax, that will be paid by guests. Measure B increases the local sales tax by ¾ cent, which will cost an average of $10 per month for the average resident.


The first Oversight Committee will be the City of Benicia's Economic Development and Finance Board, which is mandated by the Benicia Municipal Code. This Oversight Committee will be responsible for reviewing the revenue and spending allocation from tax measures, as set forth by the City Council.


The current members of the Board are City Treasurer, Ken Paulk, Norma Morales Perez, Penny Stell, Chris Kerz, Raj Dahliwal and Marty Jones.


The second committee is the Independent Citizen Tax Oversight Committee, which will consist of 19 Benicia residents who have volunteered to serve. This independent committee will review yearly financial audits of Measure A and Measure B, ensuring that the funds are used effectively and as promised, and only for the benefit of the Benicia community. The committee will review audits and financial reports and publicize all necessary information regarding the tax measures and provide at least one report to the City Council per year.


The Independent Citizen Tax Oversight Committee members are Barry Ronan, Billy Babcock, Bob Sachs, Carolyn Reeves, Daniel Smith, David Moser, Gary Pitkin, George N Oakes Sr., Greg Gendron, James Reeves, Jim Wilson, Josh Wilson, Ken Paulk, Ron Kane, Ross Sagun, Steve Sillen, Tyson Hayner, C. Bart Sullivan and Michael Daudel.