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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
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City of Chula Vista
Measure P Referendum - 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


64,704 votes yes (68.43%)

29,845 votes no (31.57%)

To repair neighborhood streets and sidewalks, replace storm drains to prevent sinkholes, update police, paramedic and 9-1-1 equipment and facilities, improve parks, repair recreation facilities, and for general city services and infrastructure, shall the City of Chula Vista adopt an ordinance enacting a temporary ½ cent sales tax, generating an estimated $16 million per year, expiring in 10 years, with no further increases without voter approval, with all funds staying in Chula Vista, requiring citizen oversight and independent audits?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure


Chula Vista City Attorney

If approved by voters, Measure P would impose a one-half cent ($.005) “transactions and use tax” (commonly known as a “sales tax”) on retail sales within the City of Chula Vista for a period of ten (10) years. The City’s Finance Director estimates the tax would generate approximately $16 million in year one, and $176 million over its 10 year term. The City Council has expressed its intent to spend these monies exclusively on City infrastructure, facilities and equipment. However, because the tax is a “general purpose” tax, the City Council would reserve the right to spend the tax revenues for any lawful City purpose. Measure P also includes provisions for separate accounting and citizen oversight.

Impartial analysis / Proposal

Chula Vista City Attorney

Authority and Method of Assessment

Measure P’s sales tax would be levied under state law (Revenue and Taxation Code Section 7285.9). As such, it would be assessed and collected as a percentage of gross receipts from retail sales (and other taxable uses) occurring within the City in the same manner as the existing state sales tax. The current state sales tax rate is 8% of gross receipts. If the City sales tax were approved, the sales tax rate in the City would increase to 8.5%. The tax revenues generated from the additional .5% would go to the City (less a state administrative fee), and could only be spent for City purposes. If approved, the tax would commence on April 1, 2017, and expire 10 years thereafter.

Provisions for Intended Expenditures

Concurrent with its approval of Measure P for placement on the ballot, the City Council adopted an “Intended Infrastructure, Facilities and Equipment Expenditure Plan” (“Plan”) for Measure P revenues. By doing so, the City Council expressed its intent to spend Measure P sales tax revenues exclusively on City infrastructure, facilities and equipment. Within 30 days of voter approval, the Measure itself requires City staff to present for City Council action, specific projects and financing consistent with this Plan. Each year thereafter, City staff would be required to prepare a “Measure P Spending Plan” that is also consistent with this Plan, and present it for City Council consideration, in its discretion, as part of the City’s annual budget. A copy of the Plan is available on the City website at

Separate Accounting and Citizens’ Oversight

Measure P includes requirements for separate accounting, budgeting and auditing of tax collections and expenditures. It also requires creation of a citizens’ oversight committee (“COC”). The COC would be responsible for reviewing and reporting on Measure P annual accounting and spending plans, and would advise on “best practices.” The COC must be comprised of City residents with ranges of expertise, including accounting, finance and engineering.

General Purpose Tax

The City Council is submitting Measure P to the voters as a “general purpose tax.” This means that a majority of the voters must approve the Measure for it to go into effect. Although this City Council has expressed its intent to spend Measure P revenues exclusively on City infrastructure, facilities and equipment, the City Council will retain discretion to spend the revenues generated for any lawful municipal purpose. 

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR



Measure P will make Chula Vista better, safer, and stronger. It will allow us to fix our streets, parks, sports fields, and fire stations, and protect our families by replacing an aging 9-1-1 dispatch system and buying new fire trucks and police cars.

Chula Vista is one of the best run cities in California, but is still feeling the pinch of the recession. During that time, we laid off staff, reduced spending, and cut pensions without harming our quality of life. Over the past two years, we looked at every street, park, recreation center, and public safety vehicle. We discovered what most of us see every day. We have some critical needs that must be fixed.

Simply put, we do not have the funds to do this. We receive only 1 penny out of every 8 cents people pay in sales taxes. That just doesn't allow us to address our city's needs, even with the amazing efforts of our city workers. Measure P solves this problem with a temporary half-cent sales tax increase that ends after 10 years. These funds can only be spent in Chula Vista, and cannot be touched by politicians in Sacramento.

Measure P demands accountability and transparency. Funds raised by Measure P will have its [sic] own line item in our budget, so everyone can clearly see how the money is spent. In addition, a special citizen oversight committee will be established to ensure that the funds are spent properly.

Most importantly, you will see improvements immediately. We'll improve streets, parks and sports fields within the first year. We will begin building two new fire stations, rebuilding other stations, and buying fire trucks and police cars right away.

Please join us by voting Yes on Measure P. For a better, safer, and stronger Chula Vista.


Chula Vista Mayor




— Chula Vista City Clerk

Arguments AGAINST



Vote No on the $160 Million Tax Increase Fraud

These taxes are NOT guaranteed to be spent on infrastructure. Measure 'P' is a General Tax and can be spent on pensions and employee salary increases.

Read the fine print: this tax increase WILL be used for General Services or anything else the City Council desires. 65 city employees have retired with pensions of more than $100,000! That's over $6.5 Million in retirement salaries each year!

Sales Tax Increase Hurts Our Families

Many families are still struggling. This $160 Million tax increase will hurt everybody, but especially those who can least afford it.

It hurts lower and middle income taxpayers the most. Cars, school supplies, clothes and other essential items will be more expensive. VOTE NO!

City Should Focus on Reform

Chula Vista is the ONLY City in the County to still maintain FULL pension spiking for employees.

Chula Vista has the highest Specialty Pay average of any city in San Diego County, averaging $1,719,199 per year, while other cities spend only $212,000 annually.

The Mayor is the sixth highest paid mayor in California receiving $186,785 in full compensation as compared to the Mayor of San Diego who receives $115,974.

The City needs to implement real reform before they ask YOU to pay more taxes!

No Real Accountability

The Oversight Committee will have no teeth. The City Council can still spend your money on anything it wants. The committee will be an insiders' club hand-picked by the Mayor and City Council.

Vote NO on Measure 'P'!

Your current tax dollars should be spent on infrastructure, reducing traffic congestion and maintaining our sewer system. You already pay enough taxes on city pensions and government waste. Vote NO on this tax increase! Protect your paycheck! VOTE NO on P!


Engineer (Retired)

Retired Firefighter

Secretary, Republican Party of San Diego County



— Chula Vista City Clerk

Replies to Arguments FOR



NO guarantee new taxes will be used for listed infrastructure projects

Measure P is a $160,000,000 ($160 Million) General Sales Tax increase that will go directly to the General Fund. Politicians can use the money for ANY purpose. Political promises made by the current administration are just words. Next year the new City Council can use the additional tax revenue for skyrocketing pension costs, special political projects and NOT infrastructure.

No Traffic Congestion Relief

The City's budget currently has NO MONEY budgeted for these important infrastructure items. If these projects are so vital and essential to the future wellbeing of Chula Vista, then the City must make them annual budget priorities.

A Tax that Hurts Families

This new sales tax undermines the financial wellbeing of our lower and middle class citizens. The City continues to allow pension spiking. It spends the most in the County, at almost $2 million a year, on specialty pay. The Mayor of Chula Vista receives $186,785 in total compensation as compared to San Diego's Mayor at $96,974. THERE IS ROOM TO CUT WASTEFUL SPENDING before asking citizens to pay more in taxes.

No Bond Shell Game

Politicians promise to bond against the sales tax revenue, so citizens will pay twice: once for the new sales tax and again for an estimated $5 million in interest/processing for a bond. This is too expensive for infrastructure and deferred maintenance!

Don't believe the politicians' false promises!

NO on P!


Secretary, Republican Party of San Diego County

— Chula Vista City Clerk

Replies to Arguments AGAINST



Please do not be deceived by the opponents of Measure P. Opponents have so little to object to that they have resorted to outright lies and fabrications in their statement.

Measure P is the result of a very transparent process that began more than 2 years ago and involved community residents, public meetings and outreach. All information, including an intended spending plan, is posted on the City's website, The temporary sales tax will not be used for salaries or pensions--it will be used to fix our infrastructure.

Chula Vista has cut staff and pensions. We have eliminated pension spiking for everyone except cops and firefighters.

But Chula Vista only has $553 to spend on city services for every man, woman and child. In comparison, San Diego spends $953 per capita and Del Mar $2,597. More than half of our budget goes to pay for firefighters and police officers. 

We do well with the money that we have--but we need to do more to make Chula Vista better. If approved, Measure P will increase our sales tax from 8% to 8.25%, the state sales tax of 0.25% ends in December.

We need the temporary sales tax to fix our streets, storm drains, parks, sports fields, recreation centers, build and repair fire stations, a new 9-1-1 dispatch system, and new fire trucks and police cars to protect our families.

Measure P will make Chula Vista safer, stronger and better. Please vote yes on P.


Chula Vista Mayor


President, Chula Vista Police Officers Association


— Chula Vista City Clerk

Who supports or opposes this measure?

Yes on Measure P

Organizations (1)

Elected & Appointed Officials (0)
No on Measure P

Organizations (1)

Elected & Appointed Officials (0)

More information

News (4)

Citizens to consider sales tax increase — July 14, 2016 San Diego Union-Tribune
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