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Smart Voter
San Mateo County, CA November 2, 2004 Election
Measure O
Special Tax
Town of Atherton

2/3 Approval Required

1,708 / 56.6% Yes votes ...... 1,310 / 43.4% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Dec 15 1:37pm, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (8/8)
Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Full Text

Shall an ordinance entitled "An Ordinance of the Town of Atherton Authorizing the Levy of a Special Tax for Municipal Services and Capital Improvements" and for the Expenditure of Funds Derived from such Tax, and numbered 550 be adopted?

Impartial Analysis from City Attorney
INITIATIVE - AUTHORIZES SPECIAL TAX TO FINANCE MUNICIPAL SERVICES AND CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS

This initiative Measure proposes to add a new ordinance to the Ordinance Code of the Town of Atherton that would allow the City Council to impose a Special Tax on Real Property to finance Municipal Services, such as police protection, street repair and maintenance, drainage facility repair and maintenance, and capital improvements where other sources of revenue are not sufficient because of restraints imposed by Article XIIIA of the California Constitution also known as Proposition 13. The ordinance would correspondingly increase the appropriations limit under Article XIIIB of the California Constitution.

The City Council must conduct a duly noticed public hearing on proposed tax after adoption of the annual budget. The tax may not exceed the total amount of expenditures necessary to provide adequate levels of municipal services and capital improvements, as determined by the City Council, after deducting the projected revenue to be gathered from sources other than the Special Tax.

The tax on individual parcels may not, however, exceed in any year the amounts set forth in Section 4 of the proposed ordinance.

The tax will be a lien on individual parcels and may be collected by the Town or the County Tax Collector at the option of the City Council.

Any monies raised by this Special Tax may be used only for said municipal services and capital improvements. In accordance with Article XIIIB of the California Constitution, all revenues received in a fiscal year and the fiscal year following it in excess of the Town's appropriations limits during that fiscal year and the fiscal year immediately following it shall be returned by a revision of tax rates or fee schedules within the next two subsequent fiscal years.

Authority to levy this tax will commence with the tax year 2005-2006 and will expire with the tax year 2008-2009, and may only be amended or repealed by a two-thirds vote of the people.

/s/ Marc G. Hynes August 13, 2004 City Attorney, Town of Atherton

  News and Analysis

San Mateo County Times

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Arguments For Measure O Arguments Against Measure O
Four years ago the Council committed itself to financial and administrative oversight, openness, responsiveness and accountability. We pledged to challenge and eliminate wasteful practices, institute extensive changes recommended by our auditors and address long-neglected issues such as roads, drainage, capital improvements to Town facilities and infrastructure, adequate but not excessive police staffing and economically appropriate salary adjustments.

We have fulfilled our promises. The Town has increased financial reserves by $90,000, despite a reduction in revenues last year of $200,000. We have eliminated non-essential overtime; reduced staff; improved cash management; raised the level of cost recovery on fee-for-services activities; renegotiated numerous contracts to improve service and reduce costs; aggressively sought out federal and state grants.

In the past four years we have frugally utilized almost two-thirds of parcel tax funds to complete numerous capital improvements, including road and drainage systems. We have proven our commitment to restoring your trust. Today our Town faces several new fiscal challenges, none of its own making. More than $2,876,000 of additional Town property tax funds are expected to be diverted to the state in the next four years while health, life and disability insurance, along with pension costs, have soared. As a consequence, the Town faces a projected $2,940,000 deficit during that same period.

Atherton is a unique residential community without any typical commercial business to generate sales tax revenue. Now more than ever we must actively explore ways of reducing expenses while finding alternative ways to generate additional revenue without further burdening our citizens. We promise to meet this goal. But we still need your help. Parcel tax money stays here and is tax-deductible. These funds are critical if we wish to maintain quality police and administrative service, community safety and Town resources.

Vote "yes."

/s/ Kathy McKeithen Mayor

/s/ William R. Conwell Vice Mayor, Town of Atherton

/s/ James R. Janz Council Member

/s/ Charles Marsala Council Member

/s/ Alan B. Carlson Council Member

No argument against Measure O submitted

Full Text of Measure O
"AN ORDINANCE OF THE TOWN OF ATHERTON AUTHORIZING THE LEVY OF A SPECIAL TAX FOR MUNICIPAL SERVICES AND CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS AND FOR THE EXPENDITURE OF FUNDS DERIVED FROM SUCH TAX

The people of the Town of Atherton do ordain as follows:

SECTION 1. AUTHORITY TO ADOPT MEASURE. This ordinance and the tax authorized herein are adopted pursuant to the provisions of the California Constitution, Articles XIIIA 4, XIIIB 4 and XIIIC 2, and pursuant to Sections 50075, 50076, 50077 and 53722 et. seq. of the California Government Code.

SECTION 2. AUTHORIZATION TO LEVY SPECIAL TAX. If, in any fiscal year commencing July 1, 2005, the City Council shall determine that municipal services such as police protection, street repair and maintenance, drainage facility repair and maintenance are necessary for the public good, welfare, and safety, and that the cost of providing such services will exceed the amount of funds generated through other revenue and income which are counted under the limit of the Town for such services calculated in accordance with the provisions of Article XIIIB of the California Constitution, as provided for in the adopted budget, and/or if capital improvements are required, the cost of which exceeds the amount of funds generated through other revenues and receipts, and/or if amounts should be required to augment operational and capital needs of the Town, then it may levy a special tax for such fiscal year on each parcel of property within the Town in the manner provided herein. This special tax shall be in addition to the annual tax rate allowed by law.

SECTION 3. DETERMINATION OF AMOUNT TO BE RAISED. Each year following adoption of the Town's annual budget, the City Council will determine the total amount of expenditures necessary to provide adequate levels of municipal services and capital improvements and deduct therefrom the projected revenue to be gathered from sources other than this special tax. The difference, if any, shall be the maximum amount of funds to be derived from the tax authorized by this ordinance for such year.

SECTION 4. MAXIMUM TAX RATE/METHOD OF ASSESSMENT. After determining the amount of tax to be raised under Section 3, the City Council shall apportion said amount among the parcels of real property within the Town not exempted by law as follows:

MAXIMUM TAX IN GIVEN YEAR

2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09

1. For each dwelling on a parcel with an area of less than 1/4 acre: 450 450 450 450

2. For each unimproved parcel with an area of less than 1/4 acre: 225 225 225 225

3. For each dwelling on a parcel with an area of 1/4 acre or more, but less than 1/2 acre: 570 570 570 570

4. For each unimproved parcel with an area of 1/4 acre or more, but less than 1/2 acre: 285 285 285 285

5. For each dwelling on a parcel with an area of 1/2 acre or more, but less than 2 acres: 750 750 750 750

6. For each unimproved parcel with an area of 1/2 acre or more, but less than 2 acres: 375 375 375 375

7. For each dwelling on a parcel with an area of 2 acres or more: 960 960 960 960

8. For each unimproved parcel with an area of 2 acres or more: 480 480 480 480

9. For each private club: 10,000 10,000 10,000 10,000

10. For each parcel available for tax owned by a utility which serves the Atherton community: 450 450 450 450

11. For each parcel available for tax owned by a utility which does not directly serve the Atherton community: 750 750 750 750

The records of the San Mateo County Assessor, as of each year, shall determine whether or not any particular lot is unimproved for purposes of this ordinance.

SECTION 5. HEARING, TAX LIEN AND INCLUSION IN CITY TAXES. Prior to levying a special tax under this ordinance in any fiscal year, the City Council shall conduct a public hearing on the proposed tax. Such hearing shall be conducted after the City Council has adopted an annual budget for that year. Notice of such hearing shall be posted in at least three public places within the Town of Atherton at least fifteen days prior to the hearing. All of the information and material which the City Council intends to consider at such hearing and the amount of tax to be raised shall be made available to the public by being on file in the office of the City Clerk for at least fifteen days prior to said hearing. Following said hearing, the City Council may adopt a resolution fixing the amount of tax to be raised which shall not exceed the amount contained in the material on file in the Clerk's office. Any tax levied under this ordinance shall become a lien upon the properties against which it is assessed and collectible in the manner provided by applicable law and by the levying resolution.

SECTION 6. COLLECTION. The City Council may elect to have any special tax authorized under this Chapter either collected by the Town or, in the alternative, by the Tax Collector of San Mateo County. If the services of the Tax Collector of the County of San Mateo are elected, the special tax may only be included on the annual tax bill sent out by such Tax Collector. A certified copy of the resolution electing to use the service of the Tax Collector of San Mateo County shall be filed with said Tax Collector prior to September 1st of the fiscal year for which the tax is assessed and shall include a list of all parcels of real property to be taxed and the amount of each parcel.

SECTION 7. INCREASE APPROPRIATIONS LIMIT. Pursuant to California Constitution Article XIIIB, the appropriations limit for the Town of Atherton will be increased by one and one-half times the aggregate sum authorized to be levied as a special tax in each of the years covered by this ordinance.

SECTION 8. FUNDING AND EXPENDING PROCEEDS. Proceeds of any tax levied under this ordinance shall be deposited in a Special Fund and expended only for the purposes stated in this ordinance.

SECTION 9. UNEXPENDED RESIDUE. In accordance with Section 2(b) of Article XIIIB of the California Constitution, all revenues received by the Town in a fiscal year and the fiscal year immediately following it in excess of the amount which may be appropriated by the Town in compliance with Article XIIIB during that fiscal year and the fiscal year immediately following it shall be returned by a revision of tax rates or fee schedules within the next two subsequent fiscal years.

SECTION 10. SEVERABILITY. If any provision of this ordinance or the application thereof to any person or circumstances is held invalid such invalidity shall not affect any other provision or applications, and to this end the provisions of this ordinance are declared to be severable.

SECTION 11. DURATION AMENDMENT OR REPEAL. The authorization to levy a tax under this ordinance shall commence with the Fiscal Year 2005-2006, beginning July 1, 2005 and shall continue through and including June 30, 2009. This ordinance or any provision thereof may only be amended or repealed by approval of two-thirds of the voters voting on the proposition at any initiative or referendum election.

This ordinance shall be adopted if approved as an initiative measure by two-thirds of the voters voting at a consolidation election to be held on Tuesday, November 2, 2004, and go into effect ten (10) days after the City Council has, by resolution, declared that such initiative measure was approved by two-thirds of the voters voting thereon."


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Created: December 15, 2004 13:37 PST
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