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November 6, 2018 — California General Election
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City of Murrieta
Measure T - Majority Approval Required

To learn more about measures, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.

Election Results


17,298 votes yes (52.56%)

15,616 votes no (47.44%)

100% of precincts reporting (43/43).

32,914 ballots counted.

To maintain the City of Murrieta's long-term finances, provide funding for general services including faster response times to 911 emergencies, improved fire protection/paramedic services, increase police to strengthen crime prevention, reduce gang activity/ drug crimes, graffiti removal, and parks and recreation/street maintenance/pothole repair, shall the measure establishing a one-cent sales tax until ended by voters be adopted, providing approximately $14,000,000 annually for city services, requiring citizen oversight and all funds controlled locally?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

Impartial analysis / Proposal

City Attorney, City of Murrieta

Measure T is a transactions and use tax within the City of Murrieta that, if adopted, taxes retail sales at a rate of one percent (1%) of the retail sales price, i.e., one cent for an item costing one dollar. Measure T is estimated to generate approximately $14 million of revenue annually to provide general city funding for, among other things, emergency services such as police, fire, and paramedics; street maintenance and improvements; parks and recreation; maintenance of public facilities, such as graffiti removal, etc. All revenues generated by Measure T would remain with the City, as opposed to going to the state, county, etc.

The current sales tax rate in Murrieta is 7.75%, of which the City receives 1%, with the balance going to state and county funds. Measure T would authorize an additional local one percent (1%) “transactions and use tax,” resulting in a combined rate of eight and three-quarters percent (8.75%).

A transactions and use tax is collected in the same manner as a traditional sales tax with minor exceptions, and is subject to the same general exemptions as sales taxes. Like a traditional sales tax, the tax will be paid by anyone, including residents of Murrieta, who purchase goods at retail establishments within Murrieta. In addition, Murrieta residents will pay the tax when they purchase an automobile, boat or aircraft anywhere in California and register it to an address in Murrieta, subject to certain statutory use exemptions. Funds collected pursuant to Measure T would be deposited into the City’s general fund and could be used for any purpose for which general fund revenues may be used.

Measure T requires oversight by a citizens committee. Reports by the citizens committee are public records available for inspection by any member of the public.

The Murrieta City Council approved Measure T at its meeting of July 17, 2018 and requested that Riverside County place Measure T on the ballot at the November 6, 2018 general election. A “Yes” vote is a vote in favor of the tax. A “No” vote is a vote against the tax. Measure T will be approved if it receives a simple majority of “Yes” votes.

By:             City Attorney

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

Vote Yes on Measure T to maintain our exceptional quality of life here in Murrieta.

The City of Murrieta is one of the safest cities in the entire nation thanks to our local Police and Fire Departments. Having local first responders mean police and firefighters are available when you need them most. Fast emergency response times for 911 calls are critical for saving Iives.

However, Murrieta is facing a growing budget deficit, $10 million less per year, due to State mandates and Sacramento money grabs threatening our safety and quality of life. The City has been fiscally responsible by laying off staff, deferring maintenance and reducing costs. Simply put, there is no more room to cut without impacting public safety and recreation programs, the library and other core services.

Measure T will help Murrieta maintain high quality public safety services, streets and local parks — which are essential to protecting strong local property values.

Vote Yes on T: Keep Murrieta Safe and Strong

·         Maintain quick responses to 911 emergencies

·         Provide fire protection/ paramedic services

·         Support neighborhood police patrols, crime prevention and investigations to prevent gang activity/ drug- related crimes

·         Maintain streets and repair potholes

·         Keep public areas clean and free of graffiti

A Clear System of Accountability Keeps Every Penny In Murrieta

·         All funds must support Murrieta services; the State cannot touch Measure T

·         Independent citizen oversight/ annual reports to the community ensure the money is spent properly

·         Essentials like groceries and prescription medicine are exempt

Unfunded mandates by Sacramento mean our options are limited and we have tough choices to make. One penny is worth protecting the police, firefighters, parks, recreation programs and clean streets that make Murrieta a special place to live.

Please join local business, public safety leaders and lifelong community members in voting Yes on T.


Rick Gibbs, Council Member

Kelly Seyarto, Council Member/Retired Battalion Chief


Scott Ferguson, Murrieta Fire Chief

Sean Hadden, Murrieta Police Chief

Douglas McAllister, Former Mayor and President/CEO,
The McAllister Strategic Group, Inc.

— County of Riverside Registrar of Voters

Arguments AGAINST

The economy has been ROARING but our City claims it can’t pay its future bills to sustain services? Our City claims it has to double the City’s sales tax rate on Murrieta families to raise the $14 million in new tax money. Our City claims that a one percent tax hike in sales tax equals that $14 million shortfall. Not True

On February 20, 2018, our City Council was informed that the sales tax revenue jumped by almost 17% and would total $17 million dollars in FY 2017/2018.

Previous years’ revenue numbers also appear robust:

·         “Sales Tax revenues increased 5.4% and program revenues increased 8.5% from the previous year.” CAFR FY 2016/2017

·         “Sales Tax has surpassed pre-recession levels...General Fund revenue ended up 8.3% higher than previous year.” CAFR F/Y 2015/2016

·         “General Fund revenue ended up 8.2% higher than previous year.” CAFR F/Y 2014/2015

During the July 24, 2018 State of the City, Murrieta declared, “The City has observed a steady recovery since the 2007 Recession!” “The future of Murrieta is going to be absolutely amazing to watch!” said our Mayor Jonathan Ingram.

There was no mention of a pending budget crisis.

In August of 2017, our City spent $26,550 with True North Research to survey a sampling of 400 Murrieta voters. The survey was designed to find out what a potential voter needed to hear to vote for a tax hike. In March of 2018, our City Council agreed to contract with a San Francisco consultant for $60,000 to market this ballot initiative based on the results of that survey data.

This tax scam is based on that taxpayer-funded $86,550 scheme!

Does our City have a “structural budget deficit”? How much is our “structural budget deficit”? Murrieta families deserve to know the truth. Vote NO.


Bob Landwehr, Resident

— County of Riverside Registrar of Voters

Replies to Arguments FOR

True North Research was hired by the City of Murrieta in August of 2017 to find out what a potential voter needed to hear to vote for this tax hike.

According to True North Research, it’s almost as critical to emphasize “pot hole repair” as “public safety.” “A clear system of accountability” in the ballot measure, like “requiring citizen oversight” is also important. Evidently, some voters have a sense of distrust and by including accountability in the tax hike measure, it offers re-assurance to that skeptical voter.

True North Research has a reputation of success, just follow the playbook. In addition to the ballot measure itself, several of the statements included in the Argument in Favor of Measure T and signed by our City leaders were taken verbatim from the True North Research script. Cut and paste!

In January of 2018, Dr. Timothy McClarney from True North Research wrote, “The City is facing a structural deficit that is projected to reach nearly $3 million per year in Fiscal Year 2018-2019.” In August of 2018 our City Leaders claim, “Murrieta is facing a growing budget deficit of $10 million less per year....”

Is the budget deficit 3 million or 10 million?

Actually, Murrieta has a balanced budget for FY 2018/19 and likely no structural deficit because of much stronger than forecasted revenue numbers! So why is there a need to tax Murrieta families $17 million more, every year?

Vote NO!


Bob Landwehr (Beyond Skeptical)

— County of Riverside Registrar of Voters

Replies to Arguments AGAINST

Murrieta’s police, firefighters, families, businesspeople and community leaders are all coming together to vote YES on Measure T.

Murrieta has provided an exceptional quality of life to our residents since 1991. We are consistently one of safest cities in the nation. 51 Parks serve over 22,000 children and families. A fiscally responsible City Council has put a priority on attracting new businesses and keeping taxes low despite these facts:

FACT: Between the State and the Great Recession, Murrieta has lost almost $100,000,000 in the last 10 years. This is crippling the City’s ability to provide essential services, including police, fire, parks and library.

FACT: Significant cuts have been made. For example, the city laid off 58 employees, furloughing and reducing paid hours by 5%, deferred maintenance on vehicles, put off needed purchases of new police and fire vehicles and more.

FACT: Though revenues have decreased, the cost of providing excellent service to our community continues to significantly increase.

FACT: Fast emergency response times save lives. Murrieta is one of the few cities in the region with its own local police and fire departments. We need Measure T to keep it that way, with local control, ensuring firefighters and paramedics can respond quickly to calls.

FACT: Murrieta is a special place to live. Measure T will repair streets and roads, upgrade parks and support youth, library, and senior programs to maintain our excellent quality of life.

Join us in voting YES on T to keep Murrieta a great place to live.


Rick Gibbs, City Council Member

Kelly Seyarto, City Council Member
Joan F. Sparkman, Community Volunteer

Pat Jennings, Retired Battalion Chief
Cindy Warren, Murrieta Business Owner

— County of Riverside Registrar of Voters
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