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Smart Voter
Riverside County, CA November 4, 2008 Election
Measure O
Utility Users's Tax
City of Hemet

Majority Approval Required

Fail: 10,732 / 44.82% Yes votes ...... 13,212 / 55.18% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of December 2 11:01am, 100.00%% of Precincts Reporting (39/39)
Information shown below: Yes/No Meaning | Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Full Text

Shall the City of Hemet establish a 5% utility users' tax?

Meaning of Voting Yes/No
A YES vote on this measure means:
The voter wants to adopt the utility users tax

A NO vote on this measure means:
The voter does not want to establish such a tax, which will result in the City not obtaining the revenue that the tax would provide

Impartial Analysis from the City Attorney
This City Council-proposed measure authorizes the establishment of a 5% utility users tax in the City of Hemet ("City") with the funds legally required to benefit Hemet. The measure requires an exemption from the tax for low income senior citizens, an annual financial audit, and prohibits an increase in the tax rate without voter approval. The resulting tax will be a general tax as provided under Article XIIIC of the California Constitution and available for general city services and purposes.

A "yes" vote is a vote to adopt the utility users tax. If the measure passes, the utility users tax will be established, levied and administered by means of a city ordinance in the form introduced by the Hemet City Council on July 29, 2008 adding new Article V ("Utility Users Tax") of Chapter 74 ("Taxation"). The tax will be levied on a communication, electricity, gas, water, and sewer ("utilities") services provided to users of the services within the City except for electricity generated for self-use by solar power which will be temporarily exempted from the tax for 6 years, unless the exemption is extended by the City Council or the voters. Communication services include, but are not limited to, telephone, cellular phone, cable television, satellite television, and video-on-demand services.

Upon passage of the measure and adoption of the ordinance, utility users will be required to pay the tax to their utility provider, who will then remit the funds to the City of Hemet. Users who directly produce gas and electricity or purchase these services from a provider not under the City's jurisdiction shall pay the tax to the City directly. The ordinance authorizes the City's Finance Director to develop and enforce procedures to administer this law. Appeals of the Finance Director's decisions may be made to the City Manager. The city may take legal action to enforce the law.

The ordinance exempts from paying the tax low income seniors, defined as persons 65 years of age or older qualifying as persons who are very low income or below as published annually in the State's Official State Income Limits for Riverside County, and other persons or entities who are exempted by virtue of other laws. The maximum tax rate is 5% which cannot be raised by the City Council without submittal of the increase to the voters, but the tax rate may be temporarily reduced by City Council.

A "no" vote is a vote not to establish such a tax, which will result in the City not obtaining the revenue that the tax would provide.

The above statement is an impartial analysis of the Measure to Establish a 5 Percent Utility Users Tax Within the City of Hemet. The definition of each utility service and a description of how the tax is calculated and collected are more particularly described in the ordinance. If you desire a copy of the ordinance, please contact the City Clerk's office at 445 E. Florida Ave., Hemet, CA 92543, phone number (951) 765-2307, and a copy will be sent at no cost to you. In addition, you can read the complete text of the ordinance on the City's web site.

By: City Attorney

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Arguments For Measure O
Restore and maintain YOUR essential city and public safety services - Vote YES on "O".

Over the last two years Hemet has cut nearly $5.5 million dollars from its budget, and the state's fiscal crisis affects our locaI services. With a multi-billion dollar State budget deficit threatening funding to cities, Hemet again faces potential cuts and devastating impacts to community services. Unless we pass Measure "O", deep cuts to public safety will be necessary.

YES on "O" ensures that ALL fire stations in Hemet will stay open.

YES on "O" maintains 911 emergency response times, retains emergency 9-1-1 dispatch operators, paramedics, police and firefighters, purchases bulletproof vests and other emergency equipment.

YES on "O" maintains funding for: anti-gang/anti-drug programs, special police units to combat gang turf wars over drug corners, and efforts to shut down crack houses and drug hot spots.

YES on "O" fights the gang members and drug dealers coming to Hemet from L.A. to commit crimes -- and funds the prevention programs and enforcement so essential to our safety.

YES on "O" improves the ability of the city to respond quickly and effectively to a natural disaster such as a wildfire or earthquake and hires firefighters to fully staff the Fire Department.

YES on "O" ensures local control. By law, all funds raised will stay in Hemet, providing a guaranteed source of revenue that can't be taken by Sacramento. Annual financial audits are legally required to ensure that funds are spent efficiently, effectively, and as promised. Low-income seniors are exempt from Yes on "O".

By keeping our City safe and maintaining our services, Yes on "O" protects our property values and the local economy.

Please join Local Police Officers, Firefighters, and residents from all walks of life - Vote YES on "O".

By: Richard Dana, Police Chief
    Matt Shobert, Fire Chief
    Robert Beckett, Pastor
    Rick Crimeni, Business Owner
    Dr. Phil Pendley, School Superintendent

(No arguments against Measure O were submitted)

Full Text of Measure O
To See the Full Text of this Measure

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