Since incorporation in 2002, the City of Goleta has paid 50 percent of its property tax, 50 percent of its retail sales tax, and 40 percent of its Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) receipts to Santa Barbara County because of the Revenue Neutrality Agreement that cityhood voters had to accept from the county as the cost of becoming a city.
The good news is that the TOT sharing ended in 2012-2013, and the portion of Goleta sales tax paid has decreased to 30 percent. Unfortunately, Goleta must give Santa Barbara County half of our property tax and 30 percent of our sales tax forever!
Goleta Valley has attempted to incorporate at least five times since the 1970s. When voters were given a chance for cityhood in 2002, they accepted the worst RNA in the history of the State of California. It was that or no city of Goleta.
Now, 16 years later, it is time to amend the Goleta/Santa Barbara County RNA. By the end of our 2018-19 budget, Goleta will have paid the County $109.1 million. These payments, nearly $6 million a year, will continue until the City of Goleta makes the county change this agreement.
The Goleta City Council should vote to amend this RNA with a 25-year “sunset.” If the county doesn’t like that, they can offer a compromise, or sue.