Salinas is the capital of the Salinas Valley, which has long been known as "The Salad Bowl of the World" for its fresh produce, and which is also renowned for its flowers and vineyards. More recently, the region is emerging as a world hub of agricultural technology, or agtech.
Although agriculture is the foundation of the local economy, more than 100 manufacturing firms call Salinas home. Some of the largest employers in the area include: Dole Fresh Vegetable, the County of Monterey, Household Credit Services, and Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital.
Form of Government
The City Manager, who is appointed by City Council, is responsible for all City departments except the appointed City Attorney. The City Council legislates policies, enacts ordinances, approves the budget, and appoints advisory boards and commissions. The seven-member City Council includes six members, elected by district, for four-year staggered terms on a nonpartisan basis, plus the Mayor who is elected at-large and serves a term of two years. Our current City Hall was built in 1964 and an addition was constructed in 1975. Our old City Hall no longer exists, but we have some records of the building dating back to 1907. It was demolished shortly after our current City Hall was opened in 1964.
Salinas has extensive health and medical services with two of the County’s four hospitals located within the City – Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital and Natividad Medical Center. Salinas also offers skilled nursing and convalescent homes, as well as residential retirement facilities for seniors, and over 200 practicing physicians.
Salinas is a community of neighborhoods with a wide variety of housing options. With Victorians and the historic Spanish influence, Salinas provides renters and homebuyers a housing assortment, from modest cottages and modern townhouses to spacious "rancheros" nestled in the oak-dotted countryside.
Newer developments provide attractive and imaginative tract homes and condominiums along side the many modern homes in well-established neighborhoods. Newcomers and longtime residents will find a neighborhood to their liking, regardless of whether they are looking for something larger to accommodate a growing family, or simply want to find smaller quarters for their retirement years.
Salinas offers approximately 39,175 housing units of which 20,881 are detached single family residences, 2,863 are attached single family residences, 3,341 two to four unit multifamily complexes, 10,833 apartment units, and 1,257 mobile homes. The residential vacancy rate is approximately 3½% at any time during the year.
The median rent for a two bedroom, one bath apartment was $1,137 per month, US Census Bureau 2010-2014 Statistics.
The median home price was $268,000. Percentage of home ownership was 43%, US Census Bureau 2010-2014 Statistics.
$66,100 for a family of four, US Dept of HUD 2012 statistics. 20.5% families living below poverty level, US Census Bureau 2010-2014 Statistics.
The State of California retail sales tax in Monterey County is levied at the rate of 8.875%, of which 6.25% belongs to the State of California, 2.5% is returned to the City of Salinas for general governmental purposes (1% Local Sales Tax, 0.5% Measure V Transaction and Use Tax, and 1% Measure G Transaction and Use Tax with a sunset date), and an additional 0.125% special tax for the Monterey County Transportation Agency.
Transaction and Use Tax (Measure V)
On November 8, 2005, the voters of Salinas approved (61.74%) the ordinance establishing a Temporary Transactions and Use Tax at the rate of one-half of one percent (0.50%) to be in effect for a period of ten (10) years. Initial collection of the tax began April 1, 2006 with the first receipt of revenues from the tax to occur in July 2006. The temporary tax was therefore scheduled to sunset April 1, 2016. During November 2012 Salinas’ residents approved the renewal of the transaction and use tax (Measure V) with no expiration date by removing the language addressing a tax collection sunset in April 2016.
Transaction and Use Tax (Measure G)
On November 4, 2014, the voters of Salinas approved Measure G, an ordinance imposing a one-cent general transactions and use tax. Measure G has a fifteen-year term and requires the City Council to establish an Oversight Committee. Measure G was premised upon and was presented to the voters as an opportunity to restore services to the community; to provide for a “safer, better Salinas.”
The minimum property tax rate is 1% of assessed valuation. The bonded indebtedness of schools and other taxing agencies may be added to the base tax rate depending on the location of specific parcels of property.
Salinas’ weather is influenced by our near proximity to Monterey Bay. The morning fog is generally cleared by afternoon breezes. The average temperature is 68.2 degrees, with summer temperatures in the 70’s which dips at night into the 50’s. Winter temperatures are generally in the low 60’s, dropping at night into the middle 30’s. Average rainfall is 14.4", usually occurring in winter and early spring.