Measure I -- 10 year use tax to assist with funding City facilities
Q. To maintain and provide quality, safe streets and other public facilities, shall the City of Placerville enact a ½ - cent sales tax, with citizen oversight and annual independent audits, to end after ten years, with all funds spent only in Placerville?
Impartial Analysis from the City Attorney John W. Driscoll:
The City Council of the City of Placerville placed Measure I on the ballot to ask the City's voters to approve a temporary one-half of one percent (0.50%) transactions and use tax. The proposed tax would add a half-cent to the price of an item that costs a dollar, or 50 cents to the price of an item that costs $100.
Because Measure I would not limit the use of tax revenue, it is a "general tax," not a "special tax" that restricts the funds to specific purposes.
Therefore, the City may use the funds for any legitimate governmental purpose. At the time that the City Council called for an election on Measure I, it also adopted a resolution that established a policy of the Placerville City Council that with respect to the revenue from this measure not less than seventy-five percent (75%) be directed toward road improvements and the remaining twenty-five (25%) be directed to improvement of roads or to other public facilities, including, but not limited to, upgrade and expansion of the City's Police Station and restoration of Old City Hall as recommended by a Citizens' Oversight Committee.
The proposed tax would terminate automatically after ten years, unless extended by the voters.
Each year, independent auditors retained by the City would complete a report reviewing the collection, management, and expenditure of revenue from Measure I.
Measure I would require the formation of a Citizens' Oversight Committee consisting of at least five members of the public, which could be residents, representatives of Placerville businesses, or a mix of the two. The Citizens' Oversight Committee would meet as often as necessary, but not less than annually, to review and report on the expenditure of funds from this measure, to evaluate the projects funded with revenue from Measure I as well as to make recommendations to the City Council regarding priorities for expenditure of revenue from Measure I in the following budget year, such as spending funds on street and road repair.
Currently, the total "sales tax" rate in Placerville is 8.0%. The City's share is only 1.50% of that 8.0%. Measure I would authorize a 0.50% transactions and use tax, increasing the total sales tax rate in Placerville to 8.5%. This measure was placed on the ballot by the City Council of the City of Placerville.
A "Yes" vote is a vote to approve a half-cent sales tax for ten years, with annual review by independent auditors and a Citizens' Oversight Committee. A "No" vote is a vote against the tax. Measure I would be approved if it received a simple majority of "Yes" votes.
Arguments For Measure I
Rebuttal to Arguments For
Placerville's roads are in terrible condition. A YES vote on Measure I will fix them and address our backlog of deteriorated pavement while ensuring we preserve public assets that YOU deem important. The FACTS speak for themselves:
FACT: Placerville has $21 million in deferred road maintenance.
FACT: The condition of our pavement (PCI) is ranked substandard at 64 (Scale of 1-100).
FACT: We need to spend $930,000/year on repairs to stop the bleeding and increase our PCI to 70.
FACT: Currently, we only have $200,000/year for road repairs. Over half of our local roads do not qualify for state or federal funds. Our pavement will continue to deteriorate without an additional funding source.
FACT: 75% of the revenue will go to road repair and maintenance only.
FACT: 25% of the revenue can help fund more road improvements, preserve historical assets like Old City Hall, upgrade our Police Station and improve parking lots or other public facilities.
FACT: A Citizen Oversight committee will oversee all spending and help determine which projects are funded. An independent audit will monitor all expenditures.
FACT: Thousands of tourists each year use our roads and facilities. A sales tax measure ensures that these tourist tax dollars will help fund the maintenance of our infrastructure.
FACT: This money will stay in Placerville to fix Placerville! Revenue from a sales tax measure is protected from cash grabs by the State.
Measure I is just ½ a penny to fix our roads and other facilities. It is not levied on food/medicine and it will expire in 10 years!
ARE YOU WILLING TO HELP FIX OUR CITY'S INFRASTRUCTURE?
Yes on Measure I is our only viable option to maintain our City and keep it from deteriorating.
We of Placerville strongly disagree with the City Council's move to raise Sales Tax by 0.5% for a period of 10 Years.
We agree that roads must be maintained.
A General Sales Tax increase does not guarantee that the money will be used for road improvements. The council promises 75% of the funds will be for road improvements and 25% for other projects without a legally binding guarantee that the funds will be used as promised.
The Council is pushing for a General Sales Tax in order to pass this measure with a simple majority of 50%+1 rather than a 66.7% majority which would be required if this tax measure was put on the ballot as a Specific Tax.
Tourists are not the only ones who will be affected. A ½% sales tax increase will impact all City residents and merchants. A tax increase could very well drive tourist and locals to shop outside of Placerville since this increase will put Placerville at a higher tax rate than surrounding jurisdictions. Increasing the tax could actually impact Placerville's overall sales and lower the gross sales tax collected.
This General Sales Tax increase will hurt the local economy adding an extra financial burden on local citizens.
It all adds up. With increasing food and gas prices, the City Council is asking an already struggling local economy to pay more over the next 10 years for the City Council's past mistakes.
This proposed solution demonstrates the Council's inability to fix the current General Budget. Vote no on the General Sales Tax increase.
Vice Mayor Patty Borelli Councilmember Wendy Thomas Councilmember Trisha Wilkins
Stephanie Sorensen, Co-Founder of the Good Earth Movement Cooperative, Owner of Hygiea's Corner Jennifer Nixon, Canines on Main Jacob Mingle, Owner of Cozmic Café Jeff Meader, Placerville News Company