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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Smart Voter
San Mateo County, CA November 2, 2004 Election
Measure J
Special Tax
City of South San Francisco

2/3 Majority Required

9,590 / 65.3% Yes votes ...... 5,098 / 34.7% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Dec 15 1:37pm, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (36/36)
Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments |

Shall the City of South San Francisco be authorized to collect a business license tax from owners and operators of commerical billboards located within the City equal to eight percent (8%) of the gross receipts received from such advertising with the revenue from the tax specifically reserved for park, recreation, library, and public safety services?

Impartial Analysis from Steven T. Mattas, City Attorney
Existing California law authorizes cities to collect a general excise tax on the privilege of operating a business within the City ("business license tax"). The City of South San FRancisco has previously adopted Ordinance No. 720 which provides for the imposition and collection of a business license tax to be paid by owners and operators of businesses located in the City.

Measure J would impose a special business license tax on those persons, firms, corporations or companies owning or operating off-premises advertising signs where such signs are located within the City and contain equal to or greater than 250 square feet of advertising copy. The amount of tax would be eight percent (8%) of the gross receipts obtained from advertising on the billboards located in the City. The ordinance under consideration as part of Measure J also establishes procedures for the payment of the tax. Measure J does not modify any other existing business license tax in South San Francisco.

The tax revenues from the special business license tax proposed as part of Measure J may ONLY be used for park. library, recreation and public safety services. Thus, the tax proposed in Measure J is a special tax under California law and therefore requires that two-thirds of the voters approve Measure J for it to be adopted.

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Arguments For Measure J
Virtually all businesses operating in South San Francisco pay a business license tax, with a notable exception being out of town billboard operators. Measure J would close a loophole in the City's Municipal Code and charge billboard operators an 8% tax on the advertising revenue they receive. This new tax measure would ONLY APPLY TO OUT OF TOWN BUSINESSES that advertise on large, commercial billboards in South San Francisco. It would NOT be applied to companies that advertise their businesses on their own sites and it would NOT be applied to small billboards.

Funds from this tax would be put in a special fund to help preserve and restore services in the General Fund that have been cut dramatically over the past 3 years in the areas of public safety, libraries, and parks and recreation. Besides the economic slowdown, our city has lost millions of dollars to the State and has had to cut $7.0 million in programs and services in areas such as:

  • Public Safety: reduction of police officers, code enforcement and fire prevention staff, as well as fire personnel that are available to respond to emergencies;
  • Library: reduction in the number of days and hours open at the Grand Ave. and West Orange Libraries
  • Parks: one parks worker has been eliminated and materials to keep the parks clean and green have been slashed;
  • Recreation: reduction in week-end staffing at various locations, as well as a reduction in childcare staffing, and elimination of some classes for the community.

If Measure J passes, funds would go a long way towards preserving and restoring these vital services. Make out of town billboard owners pay their share! Please vote yes on Measure J!

/s/ Richard Garbarino City Councilmember, City of South San Francisco

/s/ Pedro Gonzalez City Councilmember, City of South San Francisco

/s/ Charles Elliott Personnel Boardmember, City of South San Francisco

/s/ Betty Battaglia President, South San Francisco Public Library Board of Trustees

/s/ Dennis H. Rosaia Authority Member, South San Francisco Conference Center

Rebuttal to Arguments For
No Argument Against Measure J Submitted

(No arguments against Measure J were submitted)

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Created: December 15, 2004 13:37 PST
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