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San Mateo County, CA November 7, 2006 Election
Measure K
Tax Measure
City of Menlo Park

Majority Approval Required

5,420 / 50.3% Yes votes ...... 5,353 / 49.7% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Jan 4 9:41am, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (30/30)
Information shown below: Yes/No Meaning | Official Information | Impartial Analysis | Arguments |

To fund general city services, including police, emergency preparedness, street and storm drain maintenance, and libraries, shall the City of Menlo Park impose a 3.5% utility users tax on electricity, natural gas, and water and a 2.5% tax on communications to address a budget imbalance and to be reviewed by the City Council every two years and terminated if findings are not made that the tax is necessary for the City's financial health?

Meaning of Voting Yes/No
A YES vote on this measure means:
A "Yes" vote means the voter is in favor of authorizing the City of collect a utility users tax.

A NO vote on this measure means:
A "No" vote means the voter is not in favor of the City collecting a utility users tax. In order for the City to collect a utility users tax, the ballot measure must be approved by by more than fifty (50%) of the voters voting on the measure.

Official Sources of Information
Impartial Analysis from William L. McClure, City Attorney for the City of Menlo Park
Measure K, if approved by a majority vote, would authorize the collection of a utility users tax in the City of Menlo Park. The tax would be imposed at the rate of not to exceed two and one-half percent (2.5%) on communications services (such as telecommunications and video services) that are primarily used within the City's boundaries and not to exceed three and one-half percent (3.5%) on the use of electricity, natural gas, and water supplied to service users within the City. The City Council has authority to reduce the tax rate(s) or to eliminate the tax at any time by a simple majority voice of the Council.

The utility users tax is a general tax intended to alleviate an ongoing general operating budget deficit. All revenue generated by the tax would go to the City's general fund to provide general city services including police, emergency prepardedness, street and storm drain maintenance, libraries, youth and senior services. It is estimated that the tax will generate approximately $2.5 million per year, which represents approximately 7.7% of the City's general operating budget.

Several exemptions to the tax are expressly provided. Low income electricity and gas users who qualify for the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) Program pursuant to the California Public Utilities Code are exempt from the tax on gas and electricity usage. Electricity produced for self-use by solar electricity generation or co-generation is exempt for six years (which may be extended). The tax would not be levied against entities exempt by law, including federal and state agencies and public schools.

The tax would be computed on the basis of montly usage and service charges, and would be collected by the utility service provider. The maximum annual cumulative tax payable by any service user for electricity, gas and water pursuant to this measure would be $12,000.00 per fiscal year. A service user with more than one meter or billing invoice per utility service at a single contiguous location may combine all billings for purposes of calculating the maximum tax amount.

The levy of the utility users tax is subject to review by the City Council not later than June 30, 2008, and every two years thereafter. If the Council fails to make findings by a two-thirds vote that such tax is necessary for the financial health of the City, the levy of the tax will terminate on December 31st of the year in which the Council fails to make the required findings.

  Partisan Information

In Favor of Measure K:
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Arguments For Measure K
We face difficult choices about city services in Menlo Park.

Budget projections show a recurring shortfall of $2.2 million in coming years. This is despite service cuts and other savings of $5.5 million + including eliminating 35 full time city positions + already slashed from the budget since 2000. While Menlo Park City Council has made aggressive efforts to find new sources of revenue + the new hotel to be built on Sand Hill Road is one example + other revenue sources have dried up. Car dealerships have closed on El Camino. People are buying more on the Internet. Sales tax reductions have put a big hole in our city budget.

Menlo Park continues to enjoy AAA bond ratings, but we must find sensible ways to fund our departments or face drastic cuts to core services. City Council placed Measure "K" on the ballot by unanimous vote with broad community input. Measure "K" enacts a modest utility tax as 150 other California communities have done. $200 in monthly utility bills would mean a $7 tax, at most + less than a movie ticket + which could be erased completely by just small conservation efforts in your home.

These funds will be used for our police, emergency preparedness, libraries, street repairs, park maintenance, and senior and youth programs. Without these funds, current budget problems could mean each one of these programs would face severe cuts + some more drastic than others.

Extraordinary financial accountability features are included in Measure "K". Every two years, the sitting City Council will review the measure and vote to continue, decrease or eliminate this tax going forward. New taxes are never easy to accept. But the alternatives are much worse. We hope you will join us in voting to do our modest but fair share.

Please vote YES on Measure "K".

/s/ Patricia M. Watkins August 16, 2006 Chair, Parks and Recreation Commission, Belle Haven Resident

/s/ Timothy D. Goode August 16, 2006 Friends of the Menlo Park Library

/s/ Jeff M. Keegan August 16, 2006 Menlo Park Police Officers Association

/s/ Bill Frimel August 16, 2006 Business Manager Menlo Park Presbyterian Church

/s/ Dee Tolles August 16, 2006 Former Mayor

(No arguments against Measure K were submitted)

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Created: January 4, 2007 09:42 PST
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