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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Smart Voter
Los Angeles County, CA November 4, 2008 Election
Measure UUT
Communications Users Tax Rate Reduction and Modernization
City of Inglewood

Ordinance - Majority Approval Required

Pass: 29,590 / 84.22% Yes votes ...... 5,545 / 15.78% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Nov 28 5:11pm, 100.00% of Precincts Reporting (52/52)
Information shown below: Official Information | Impartial Analysis |

Shall an ordinance be adopted reducing the existing tax rate on cable/telephone services from 10% to 8%, with revenues funding vital services including; anti-gang/afterschool programs, 9-1-1 emergency, public safety, fire protection, parks, recreation, graffiti abatement, libraries, and senior services; replacing outdated ordinances with a modern ordinance ensuring taxpayers are treated equally, exemptions for low-income seniors and disabled, and annual independent audits for fiscal accountability?

Official Sources of Information

Impartial Analysis from Cal P. Saunders
Inglewood City Attorney
Ballot Measure UUT proposes the adoption of an ordinance that would reduce the tax rate of the tax from 10% to 8% and replace the existing telephone and cable television utility user tax with a modernized communications tax. Existing exemptions for low-income seniors and the disabled will continue.

The current tax rate is 10%. The revenues from this tax are approximately $9 million of the 2007-2008 budget, and represent over 10% of the general fund. Proceeds of the current tax are deposited in the City’s general fund and used for vital governmental services, programs and purposes. The proposed ordinance would reduce the communications tax rate from 10% to 8%, resulting in an overall 20% utility tax reduction to taxpayers. The tax cannot be increased in the future without a vote of the people.

The utility user tax on telephone and cable television has been in place in Inglewood since approximately 1975. The existing tax ordinance is outdated due to significant advances in technology since that time; therefore the tax is not imposed on some communication services and devices that are now in existence. The proposed ordinance will provide a modern, functional definition of telecommunications and video services that is technology-neutral, and includes the use of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), broadband service, and private networks for providing such services, unless precluded by federal statute.

Recent federal court decisions and litigation in several California cities with ordinances similar to Inglewood’s have placed this tax revenue in jeopardy. With an adverse ruling the revenues collected under the current ordinance, which have funded local services for over 30 years, could be reduced substantially. Adoption of the proposed ordinance would protect the City of Inglewood from an adverse outcome in any such litigation. Loss of the revenue could result in substantial service reductions in areas such as senior citizen services, youth programs, library services, public works services, police services, and fire services.

A “yes” vote is in favor of adopting the updated communications tax ordinance and reducing the tax rate as summarized above. A “no” vote is against adopting the ordinance. A majority of “yes” votes is required for the ordinance to be enacted.

  Official Information

City of Inglewood
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