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Voter's Edge California Voter Guide
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Presentado por
MapLight
League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
ACLU of CA@SDACLU
November 5, 2019 — Local Elections
Local

City of Claremont
Measure CR - Majority Approval Required

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Resultados electorales

Passing

4,009 votos si (50.9%)

3,869 votos no (49.1%)

Shall the measure providing general revenue to: maintain existing City services including public safety, youth/senior programs and special events; repair and replace infrastructure and facilities; maintain right-of-way landscaping, parks, and trees; address rising operational costs; restore reserves and improve the financial health of the City, by setting a permanent three-quarter cent (0.75%) transactions (sales) and use tax, resulting in approximately $2,500,000 annually, for Claremont services, programs, and projects, be adopted?

¿Qué es esta propuesta?

Información básica sobre la iniciativa de ley — Información oficial sobre esta iniciativa

Análisis del analista legislativo / Proposal

Alisha Patterson, City Attorney

The City Council of the City of Claremont has placed a sales tax measure (“Measure”) on the November 5, 2019 ballot to ask the City’s voters to approve an ordinance that would enact a City-based three-quarter percent (0.75%) sales tax (officially called a “Transactions and Use Tax”). If approved, the tax would add three quarters of a cent ($0.0075) per dollar to the price of an item subject to the tax. In other words, if a consumer spends $100 in Claremont, this tax would add 75 cents to the bill.

Sales taxes are levied on the purchase price of retail sales and uses of tangible personal property. The State has a sales tax cap of 10.25%. The current sales tax rate in Claremont is 9.5%. The City currently receives 1% of this 9.5%. The remainder goes to the State (6.25%) and other regional agencies, like the County (collectively, 2.25%). This Measure, if approved by the City’s voters, would increase the total sales tax rate in Claremont from 9.5% to the cap of 10.25%.

The proceeds of this tax would go to the City of Claremont’s general fund to be used for City services, programs, and projects, such as:

- police protection,

- youth and senior programs,

- special events,

- maintaining parks, trees, and landscaping,

- repairing infrastructure and facilities (e.g., streets and sidewalks),

- maintaining buildings (e.g., roofs and HVAC),

- rising operational costs (e.g., increased pension and insurance costs), and

- restoring reserves.

Because this Measure does not limit the use of tax revenue, State law considers it a “general tax,” not a “special tax” that restricts funds to a specific purpose.

The estimated proceeds of this tax are $2.5 million per year, but actual revenues may vary. The California Constitution –– specifically Article XIII, Section 24(b) –– protects all revenue generated by this Measure from being diverted away from the City and its services, programs, and projects.

A “Yes” vote is in favor of adopting the City-based 0.75% sales tax under this Measure. A “No” vote is against adopting the City-based 0.75% sales tax
under this Measure. If a simple majority (i.e., more than 50%) of voters vote “Yes,” then this Measure will be approved, and the ordinance authorizing the City-based 0.75% sales tax will be adopted.

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Argumento A FAVOR

Claremont voters are being given this opportunity to secure proper funding for the level of services we have come to expect. These include police and public safety, youth and senior programs, maintenance of parks, streets and lighting.

Our City is in financial crisis because of unpreventable increases in insurance, utilities and pensions. We face a $1 million deficit this year and $1.8 million by 2021-22. This proposed sales tax increase of .75% will provide an estimated $2-$2.5 million annually to Claremont. This will address the budget deficit and will also provide reserves for future unanticipated cost increases and enhanced service levels.

In 2018, the City Council formed the Future Financial Opportunities Committee (FFOC), representing a diverse group of residents, to explore new revenue opportunities. This sales tax increase was this group’s leading recommendation.

Currently, Claremont receives only 1% of our 9.50% sales tax, with the rest going to the State, County and other taxing agencies. The state allows a maximum of 10.25%. If Claremont voters want to secure this final .75% for our City (before other taxing agencies take this opportunity away), the time to act is now. Already, nineteen other Los Angeles County cities have passed local increases.

We have the opportunity to act now. Secure the added tax dollars for Claremont. Secure our financial future.

Vote YES on Measure CR to secure the quality of life for Claremont residents now and in the future.

COREY CALAYCAY

Mayor

NICHOLAS C. QUACKENBOS

Businessman

LISSA PETERSEN

Retired Professor

PETER S. ALVARADO

Casino Compliance Officer

SONJA STUMP FAGG

Business Owner

Argumento EN CONTRA

Measure CR is BAD FOR LOW-INCOME FAMILIES AND SMALL BUSINESSES. If this regressive tax passes, Claremont’s sales tax will be
2.5% higher than nearby cities. This tax will not only disproportionately hit low-income families who already struggle to live in Claremont, it will devastate small, locally-owned retailers, potentially costing them millions in lost sales, and putting many of them out of business. Despite the local Chamber’s support and the false premise by city officials that everyone “already shops at Target”, virtually every retailer in the Village opposes this tax!

Measure CR is a BLANK CHECK. Our City Council refused to earmark a single dollar of this tax increase, not even for police-station upgrades they say we desperately need. This means they will spend up to $27,000,000 over the next ten years on automatic raises, higher pensions, and annual bonuses.

CITY HALL CANNOT BE TRUSTED. City Hall has a history of making exaggerated and false claims. In 2014, they told us that a $125,000,000 takeover of the water company would reduce our water bills. In 2016, they told us we needed to replace our police station with a $50,000,000 Taj Mahal. In 2018, after the failure of two consecutive ballot measures and years of telling us the existing police station could not be fixed, they finally admitted that it could. Last fall, they announced that we were facing multiple years of budget deficits, then, 24 hours later, they reported a budget surplus and granted over $100,000 in bonuses! Paying bonuses one day and declaring a fiscal emergency the next, makes no sense.

City Hall has consistently demonstrated they cannot be trusted to make good decisions and spend our tax dollars wisely. Please support our small businesses and keep Claremont affordable for everyone by voting NO on Measure CR.

SUZANNE ANGEL

Business Owner

CHRISTINE IDE

Business Owner

ARMAN ARIANE

Business Owner “Xerxes For Gents”

Chamber Member

MOJGAN AZIZI ARIANE

Business Owner Susa Boutique

KURT BUMILLER

Homeowner 26 Years

Refutación al argumento A FAVOR

The State of California does NOT impose a 10.25% statewide maximum sales tax limit and voting for Measure CR will NOT stop other agencies from raising Claremont’s sales even higher than that in the future.

Proponents argue that sales taxes are capped at 10.25%. Not true. The City of Santa Fe Springs is already at 10.50%! Proponents also argue that if Measure CR is approved, other agencies, such as the Los Angeles Fire Department and the South Coast Air Quality Management District will be unable to raise our sales tax rate any further. Also, not true. Sacramento is highly unlikely to exempt Claremont from paying its equal share for fire protection or clean air, simply because Claremont wants the money for itself. If these agencies get approval to increase sales tax rates in the future, which the Air Quality Management District is already pursuing, Claremont’s sales tax rate will go well beyond 11%.

City Hall has stated repeatedly that the tax revenue from Measure CR would only be used to “maintain current service levels”. The Mayor is now arguing that the revenue will be used for “enhanced service levels”. We simply cannot afford to expand services by raising taxes on those who can least afford it. Everyone knows that sales taxes are regressive. If Measure CR passes, it will hurt low-income families facing higher rents and seniors on fixed incomes the most.

We should be focused on securing the financial future for small Village retailers, seniors, and struggling families living paycheck to paycheck, rather than administrators at City Hall.

Please Vote NO on Measure CR and help keep Claremont affordable for everyone.

MATTHEW MAGILKE

Prof. of Accounting

LINDA WIECZOREK

25 Yr Homeowner

ERIC HUGHSON

Professor of Finance

ARMAN ARIANE

Xerxes & Persepolis Owner

MOJGAN ARIANE

Susa Boutique

Refutación al argumento EN CONTRA

A vote for Measure CR is the responsible choice for maintaining our excellent city services, building financial reserves for future emergencies, and securing Claremont’s quality of life. City Hall has taken our budget deficit seriously, and worked diligently to make deep cuts the last two years totaling $3.4 million without significant impacts on services. A new source of revenue is needed urgently and if we don’t act now, we will likely lose this revenue to the county or another local agency.

Residents of other San Gabriel Valley cities such as Pomona and Glendora have made the responsible choice to secure their finances with similar measures, without negative consequences on low-income families or small business that those opposed to this measure claim. In fact, the Claremont Chamber of Commerce has enthusiastically endorsed Measure CR in order to protect the city’s “status as an attractive city to visit, shop and live.” And remember sales tax is not collected on groceries, prescription drugs and several other essentials, so low-income families will not be disproportionately impacted.

The rebuttal argument sets forth a parade of horribles that will accompany Measure CR. Opponents predict disaster and scapegoat “City Hall” for all the things “they” have done. But “they” are actually “we,” the residents of Claremont, speaking at public meetings and through our elected council. And we will decide how these resources are spent, and whether our tax dollars will stay in Claremont. Let’s secure our financial future by voting “yes” on Measure CR.

RANDALL S. PROUT

Retired Business Owner

JOSE N. MEDEIROS

Business Owner

ROBERT W. BOWCOCK

Claremont Business Owner

MAURY FEINGOLD

Community Volunteer

ZACH COURSER

Professor

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