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VENTURA COUNTY ROUNDUP | Ventura

City, County Extend Talks on Sales Tax

September 14, 2000|MATT SURMAN

The county and the city of Ventura are extending negotiations at least through October over a sales tax dispute and expect to hire a mediator to smooth the way, officials said.

"This could go on for a long time," said Ventura Mayor Sandy Smith.

Smith said the city of Ventura agreed not to submit its plan to retain $572,000 in sales tax money to the state Board of Equalization in October. If it were to do so, a measure passed by the Board of Supervisors would take effect, eliminating a 1.25% sales tax that puts $85 million in city coffers across the county.

County and city of Ventura leaders have been meeting regularly to try to come to an agreement. Possible compromises discussed range from the county helping the city out by providing some fire services to allowing the city to lease a county building that is attached to Ventura City Hall, Smith said.

"The negotiations have been spirited and constructive. Taking additional time to reach consensus will best serve our mutual goals," Supervisor Kathy Long said in a statement.

Ventura will continue to pay its sales tax share at least until the end of negotiations in October, Smith said.

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