League of Women Voters of California
Utility User's Tax
City of Los Alamitos
1,781 / 67.6% Yes votes ...... 855 / 32.4% No votes
Index of all Measures
|Results as of Nov 12 4:00pm, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (11/11)|
|Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments ||
Shall Ordinance 540 remain in effect, continuing the existing , and not to exceed, six (6) percent utility users tax in the City of Los Alamitos to fund general city services such as police, parks, children's and senior programs, and street repairs, and further, that low-income households(regardless of age) remain exempt from the tax, and that the tax is subject to an annual financial review?
In 1991, the Los Alamitos City Council adopted Ordinance No. 540 approving a Utility Users Tax of up to 6% on certain utilities. The Utility Users Tax took effect on April 8, 1991, and has remained in effect since that date. The City Council adopted the Utility Users Tax based upon California Court of Appeal decisions that cities were not required to submit such taxes for voter approval. Subsequently, the California Supreme Court overruled these Court of Appeal decisions, holding that cities must either obtain voter approval for the Utility Users Tax, or cease imposing the tax and collecting its proceeds. Currently, Los Alamitos households' Utility Users Tax payments average less than $12 per month, generating approximately $1,660,000 annually, which represents approximately 20% of Los Alamitos' general fund budget.
The proposed Utility Users Tax is identical to the tax that the City approved in 1991, which has remained in effect for the past eleven years. If approved, this Measure does not impose any new fees or taxes on City residents or businesses, but allows the existing utility users' tax to remain in effect.
Under the tax, utility service providers collect from Los Alamitos residents and businesses 6% of the amounts billed for telephone, electricity, gas and water services, and remit those moneys to the City. All proceeds from the tax are placed in the City's general fund and used for the usual current expenses of the City. Certain persons and entities, including persons and families qualifying as "very low income" may be exempted from the tax.
The City Council is required to review the Utility Users Tax on an annual basis in considering the City's general fund budget for the upcoming year. If it determines that the City's financial condition will not be adversely affected, the City Council may temporarily reduce the tax rate, as it did for the periods of February 1, 2002, through February 1, 2003, after which it would revert to 6% unless the City Council again reduces it.
If this Measure is passed, Los Alamitos residents and businesses will continue to pay the up to 6% Utility Users Tax, and the City will continue to receive the tax for the payment of general municipal activities such as police services, recreational facilities improvements, street repairs, senior citizen activities, after school recreation activities, children and adult classes, general city administration, etc.
If this Measure is rejected, the City Council would need to cut about $1,660,000 per year from the City's general fund budget.
The above statement is an impartial analysis of Ordinance No. 540, Measure Q printed in its entirety in the ballot pamphlet.
|Arguments For Measure Q||Arguments Against Measure Q|
|Since April 1991, Los Alamitos residents have paid a
6% surcharge on telephone, gas, electric and water
bills. Called a Utility Users Tax (UUT), the fee is critical
to maintaining current levels of city services because it
generates $1.7 million of Los Alamitos' $8.2 million
General Fund budget - money that is used for police
protection; parks, recreation and senior's programs,
street repairs and other vital services.
A recent California Supreme Court decision requires voter approval for Los Alamitos to continue collecting the UUT.
Because the fee is critical to maintaining the quality of life in Los Alamitos, we strongly encourage you to vote YES on Measure Q. We call it Los Alamitos' "6% Difference" because our UUT pays for high-quality services that distinguish us from other communities.
Here are some important points to consider:
|No argument against this measure was submitted|