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Measures Y and Z
November 8, 2016 Election
Shall Ordinance No. 1165 be adopted to impose as a general tax an additional transaction (sales) and use tax of one-half of one percent within the city limits of the City of Ukiah to fund essential City services, including street repair and maintenance? Such tax increase is estimated to raise $2,470,000 annually at a rate of .5%. The duration of the tax will continue unless or until the tax is repealed by majority vote in a municipal election.
Impartial Analysis from the City Attorney
IMPARTIAL ANALYSIS FROM THE CITY ATTORNEY
If approved by a majority vote, this ballot measure would approve an ordinance increasing the general one-half of one percent (0.5%) transaction and use tax in the City of Ukiah by an additional one-half of one percent (0.5), making the total transaction and use tax approved by City voters one percent (1%). This tax will be added to the existing 7.5% statewide sales tax and the existing 1/8 of one percent (0.125%) special Mendocino County transaction and use tax funding the County library, making the total sales tax on goods sold in the City 8.625%. On a purchase of $100, the proposed additional tax would increase the sales tax by fifty cents ($.50). Under state law the maximum combined locally adopted transaction and use taxes in Mendocino County cannot exceed 2%. If the voters approve Measure Y, the combined City and County locally adopted transaction and use tax in the City will not exceed the 2% maximum.
The City receives 1% of the current 7.5% statewide sales tax which goes into the City General Fund and can be spent for any city purpose. State law authorizes a city like Ukiah to seek voter approval for additional locally adopted transaction and use tax, which are assessed and collected in the same way as sales tax. This additional transaction and use tax must also be treated as general fund revenue which may be spent for any general fund purpose, including, but not limited to, the maintenance and repair of City streets. Under existing state law, these funds must be used exclusively for the municipal purposes of the City of Ukiah and may not be diverted by the state for any other use.
The ordinance imposing the tax may only be amended or repealed by the voters in a municipal election. The tax will be administered by the California State Board of Equalization (“SBOE”) under a contract with the City. Because of the time required by the SBOE to begin collecting the tax, the ordinance does not become operative until 110 days after it is approved by the voters. If approved at the November 8, 2016, election, the tax increase would become operative on February 26, 2017.
David J. Rapport
Ukiah City Attorney
Argument in Favor of Measure Y
ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF MEASURE Y
YES on Measure Y will address the problem of failing streets in Ukiah.
- Of the City’s 53 centerline miles of pavement, 67% are in poor or failed condition.
- Pavement maintenance costs are increasing at the same time as funds are decreasing.
- State funds previously dedicated to street maintenance have been reduced or eliminated.
- Gas Tax funds fluctuate with the economy and are an unreliable and insufficient source of funds.
YES on Measure Y will provide a reliable revenue source dedicated to the repair and maintenance of the streets we use every day and this money CANNOT be touched by the State.
Measure Y will provide a steady revenue source for maintenance, reconstruction, and any mandated improvements to our streets. This new revenue will be in addition to the current funding for street repair from the City’s General Fund, ensured by a City Council adopted resolution that maintains funding for street repair from the General Fund at the current level.
Revenue generated by Measure Y will be reviewed annually by the City Council and will be available for public review in the City’s annual budget, published on the City’s website.
Measure Y is the only tool available to make necessary and significant improvements to our failing streets. Other local cities – including Willits, Fort Bragg, and Point Arena – have already adopted similar measures with success.
Yes on Measure Y makes it easier to drive on City streets, enhancing our quality of life and improving safety.
Join your fellow residents and vote YES on Measure Y to eliminate crumbling streets in Ukiah.
|Stephen G. Scalmanini
|Jim O. Brown
Argument Against Measure Y
NO ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF THIS MEASURE WAS SUBMITTED
AN ORDINANCE OF THE VOTERS OF THE CITY OF UKIAH INCREASING THE EXISTING TRANSACTIONS AND USE TAX BY AMENDING SECTION 1790 and 1792 OF CHAPTER 8C OF DIVISION 1 OF THE UKIAH CITY CODE
The voters of the City of Ukiah hereby ordain as follows:
SECTION 1. FINDINGS. The voters of the City of Ukiah hereby find as follows:
The City Council and the people of the City of Ukiah hereby find:
- In approving Measure S, the City voters enacted a ½ cent sales tax as a general tax which can be budgeted at the discretion of the City Council. In Measure P the voters extended the duration of that tax in 2014. When Measure S was passed, it was accompanied by a companion Advisory Measure that made public safety the priority use of that tax revenue. When the measure was extended by Measure P in the November 2014 election, the City Council adopted a resolution adopting a revenue expenditure plan for those revenues to insure that the revenue is used exclusively for police and fire services.
- The revenues from the transaction and use tax (“Sales Tax”) enacted by Measure S as extended by Measure P are general fund revenues subject to the budgeting discretion of the City Council, but, as directed by the voters in the City who voted in favor of a companion advisory Measure T, the City has, in fact, used these tax revenues exclusively for public safety. In addition, the City Council has increased general fund support for public safety by over $4.5 million since 2005. The City Council chose consistently throughout the financial crisis since 2008 to sustain funding for public safety, and added to it from the General Fund, even in the face of making significant spending reductions in other city operations and non-safety personnel.
- The additional ½ cent to be enacted with the voters’ approval of this Ordinance is also a general tax that is subject to the budgeting discretion of the City Council. A companion Advisory Measure asks whether the revenue from this additional Sales Tax should be used exclusively to fund street repairs and maintenance.
- The following findings demonstrate that the additional revenue from this tax is necessary to provide sufficient funds to improve and maintain City streets:
Finding 1 – Of the City’s fifty-three (53) centerline miles of pavement 67% of the street pavement is in poor or failed condition.
Finding 2 – Pavement maintenance costs are increasing at the same time as funds for maintenance are decreasing.
Finding 3 – State funding for street maintenance has been decreasing.
Finding 4 – State Transportation Improvement Program funding is no longer available for street rehabilitation projects.
Finding 5 – Gas tax funds fluctuate depending on the economy and are an insufficient funding source for street maintenance projects.
- The City Council determined at its regular meeting on May 18, 2016, to place this measure on the ballot for the regular municipal election on November 8, 2016, as authorized by Revenue and Taxation Code section 7285.9.
- Based on all of the information presented at the May 18, 2016, meeting, both written and oral, including the staff reports, minutes, and other relevant materials, the City Council finds that under CEQA Guidelines 15060(c)(2) and 15378, subdivisions (2) and (4) of subdivision (b), this action does not constitute a project under CEQA and, therefore, review under CEQA is not required.
SECTION 2. AMENDMENT OF SECTIONS 1790 AND 1792 OF THE UKIAH CITY CODE.
§1790 TRANSACTIONS TAX RATE
For the privilege of selling tangible personal property at retail, a tax is hereby imposed upon all retailers in the incorporated and unincorporated territory of the city at the rate of one percent (1%) of the gross receipts of any retailer from the sale of all tangible personal property sold at retail in said territory on and after the operative date hereof.
§1792 USE TAX RATE
An excise tax is hereby imposed on the storage, use or other consumption in the city of tangible personal property purchased from any retailer on and after the operative date hereof for storage, use or other consumption in said territory at the rate of one percent (1%) of the sales price of the property. The sales price shall include delivery charges when such charges are subject to state sales or use tax regardless of the place to which delivery is made.
SECTION 3. ORDINANCE TO BE SUBMITTED TO THE VOTERS
This ordinance shall be submitted to the voters at an election to be held on November 8, 2016. Upon approval by a majority of the voters of the City voting on this ordinance, the additional one-half of one percent (0.5%) Transactions and Use Tax enacted by this Ordinance shall be operative on the first day of the calendar quarter, or prior to the first day of the first calendar quarter, commencing more than 110 days after the adoption of the ordinance.
SECTION 4. SEVERABILITY
If any provision of this ordinance or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, the remainder of the ordinance and the application of such provision to the other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby. The voters of the City of Ukiah hereby declare that they would have adopted each and every provision of this ordinance regardless of the invalidity of any other provision.
SECTION 5. CODIFICATION
Upon adoption of this ordinance pursuant to the voter approval referenced herein, the City Clerk, in consultation with the City Attorney, is hereby authorized and directed to codify this ordinance in the Ukiah City Code.
SECTION 6. EFFECTIVE DATE
If this ordinance is approved by a majority of the voters voting on the issue at the November 8, 2016, election, pursuant to Elections Code Section 9217, this ordinance shall become effective ten (10) days after the City Council declares the results of the election. The Operative Date of the Transactions and Use Tax set forth in City of Ukiah Ordinance No. 1063 shall not be affected by this ordinance.
Shall street repair and maintenance and related public infrastructure improvements be the exclusive use of the revenues from an additional .5% sales tax in the City of Ukiah and add to and not replace current spending for street maintenance and repair?
Impartial Analysis from the City Attorney
IMPARTIAL ANALYSIS FROM THE CITY ATTORNEY
Measure Z is a companion to Measure Y. The companion Measure Y seeks voter approval for an ordinance that increases the locally adopted transaction and use tax in the City of Ukiah from one-half of one percent (0.05%) to one percent (1%). Measure Y is a general tax measure that requires a majority vote to pass. General taxes, like the tax in Measure Y, can be spent for any municipal purpose, such as street maintenance and repair, but also for police, fire, and emergency medical services, public parks, city owned recreational facilities, and city sponsored recreational programs, among other things.
Measure Z asks whether the repair and maintenance of City streets should be the exclusive use of this additional general tax revenue produced by Measure Y and whether that revenue should add to and not replace existing spending on the repair and maintenance of City streets. Measure Z is an advisory measure. As that term suggests, Measure Z is advisory to, and not binding upon, the City Council. Nevertheless, the City Council has placed the measure on the ballot to gauge public opinion on how additional sales tax revenues should be spent and the election results will be available to the members of the City Council when it is asked to approve future City budgets.
In the ballot argument in favor of Measure Y, the City Council has stated that if both Measures Y and Z are approved, it has a plan to improve the condition of City streets and maintain those improved conditions over time. Such ballot argument statements are considered evidence of the City Council’s intent in placing Measure Y on the ballot.
David J. Rapport
Ukiah City Attorney