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Smart Voter
Los Angeles County, CA November 2, 2010 Election
Measure H
The Carson Vital City Services Emergency Protection Measure
City of Carson

Sales Tax Increase - Majority Approval Required

Fail: 9,890 / 41.59% Yes votes ...... 13,889 / 58.41% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Nov 24 2:18pm, 100.00% of Precincts Reporting (54/54)
Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments |

To offset severe state budget cuts; maintain Sheriffs deputies patrols; 9-1-1 emergency response; pothole/street repairs; gang prevention; youth recreation and after school programs; parks; natural disaster response; seniors' services including meals on wheels and other general fund services; shall the City of Carson sales tax be increased one cent, legally required to end after five years with annual audits, and state government cannot take these funds?

Impartial Analysis from City Attorney
Measure H, if approved by the voters, would enact in Carson a Transactions and Use Tax (commonly referred to as a "Sales Tax") which would have the effect of increasing the current sales tax rate by one percent (1%) (also known as a "1 sales tax"), and authorize collection of the tax by the State Board of Equalization. This increase in the sales tax rate is estimated to raise between $11 and $12 million annually based on current levels of sales tax generation.

Measure H was placed on the ballot by a unanimous vote of the City Council following the adoption of a declaration of fiscal emergency. The declaration of fiscal emergency projects a budget deficit in excess of $9 million in each of the next five years unless new funding sources are obtained.

The declaration also found that, in last fiscal year, the City cut $3.3 million from its proposed budget. The declaration also found that, in the 2010/11 fiscal year budget, law enforcement staffing levels have been reduced, the annual summer youth employment program suspended, and City-sponsored cultural, fine arts, and city-wide community events have all been canceled. City-wide tree trimming has been suspended. Due to current economic conditions, the State's budget deficit, and other recessionary indicators, this "structural budget deficit" is expected to grow without new funding sources.

If Measure H is approved, all funds would be deposited into the city's general fund. Historically, in Carson the largest expenditure from the general fund is used to contract for law enforcement services provided by Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Other examples of typical uses for general fund revenues include street and sidewalk repair, tree trimming, maintenance of public parks and facilities, city recreational and park programs, senior programs, graffiti removal, and City-sponsored cultural, fine arts, and other city-wide community events.

A "Yes" vote means you support an increase in the sales tax rate in Carson by 1% (an added 1 sales tax). A "No" vote means you oppose an increase in the sales tax rate in Carson by 1% at this time. This measure would take effect only if a majority of those voting on the ballot measure cast a "Yes" vote at the November, 2010, special election. The added 1 sales tax rate would be subject to annual independent audits, the proceeds from the tax could not be "seized" by the State, and the tax would end five (5) years from the date of enactment (or in 2016) unless extended by another vote of the voters of Carson.

  Official Information

City of Carson

Measure 'H' Fact Sheet
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Arguments For Measure H Arguments Against Measure H
Sacramento politicians grabbed millions from our city to bail themselves out of the state budget mess. The City of Carson has been especially hard-hit by these cuts, which totaled $3.3 million last year, and anticipates required cuts of $9 million in each of the next five years. These state raids jeopardize Carson's progress in fighting crime, gangs and drugs and threatens essential city services for our children, seniors and others in need.

Already, the city has reduced staffing and service levels + including sheriff's personnel + canceled tree trimming, community events and a summer youth jobs program while increasing fees and utilizing emergency reserve funds. Without additional funds, devastating cuts must be made to essential services like 911 emergency response times, street and road repair and many programs that residents rely on everyday.

We must stand up for our neighborhoods. The Carson Vital City Services Emergency Protection Measure + Measure H + will provide emergency funds to maintain:

- 911 emergency response times
- Youth, gang and drug prevention programs
- After school park and recreation services
- Street and park lighting
- Pothole repair and street maintenance
- Graffiti removal services
- The Carson Stroke Recovery Center and Meals on Wheels for our seniors.

Measure H provides the emergency funding Carson needs by raising the sales tax in our city by one percent (one penny) for five years only. It cannot be extended without another vote of the people. Measure H contains tough safeguards that ensure funds are used efficiently, effectively and as promised.

Remember, Measure H is NOT a property tax. It does not apply to food purchased as groceries or prescription medicine. Visitors and residents pay one cent. Every penny stays in Carson and cannot be taken by Sacramento.

Our state has failed us. Let's ensure our city doesn't. Measure H restores Carson's fiscal health. Vote YES on Measure H.

Chairperson Public Safety Commission

Chairman Parks and Recreation Commission

Economic Development Commissioner

Chairman, Planning Commission

Rebuttal to Arguments For
Our city officials and city manager will have you believe that our financial downfall is due to Sacramento politicians. NO! Stop blaming the state. Fiscal responsibility starts at home.

Redevelopment money was taken by the state. All cities were affected not just Carson. Notice the white picket fences marking property owned by Carson's Redevelopment Agency. Because of this land banking gamble, our officials have taken this property off the tax rolls causing yet another shortfall. Previous owners were paying taxes for this land, now the city receives NO property taxes.

The City sold us on supporting Measure C (Utility Tax) because it would save important services. Did it? NO. These same services are still being threatened with Measure H. The adopted budget, prior to Measure C for 08/09 was $66.5 million. The adopted budget after the utility tax passed was $67.6 million. Notice the increase? The more you give, the more they spend. But, why not? It's the taxpayer's money.

Fiscal responsibility is critical. Some employees are still making over $100,000, $200,000, $300,000 and we still hire consultants! Salaries and benefits increased by $5 million over the last 5 years. Community Center fees in excess of $25,000 are being waived for friends and special interests! Our reserves went from a high of $46 million and dropped to a low of $16 million in the last 10 years. STOP! Just say NO! Enough is Enough.

VOTE NO on Measure H. Reformation Before More Taxation. VOTE NO...ON Measure H.


President/Carson Citizens for Reform


Carousel Homeowner Assoc.

Retired Teacher/Homeowner
Does this sound familiar? "Vote yes on Measure C (Utility Tax) to protect Carson's families and future. Without the Utility Tax you will lose deputy sheriff's patrols, 9-1-1 emergency response, youth recreation programs, Meals on Wheels for homebound seniors, etc." The Yes vote gave an additional $6.7 million in revenues to the city of Carson beginning July 1, 2009. However, the wasteful spending by our city officials continued to increase.

Are you sick and tired of higher taxes? When is enough + enough? Don't be misled by the wording of this ballot measure. Read the fine print. This is a 1% (not 1 cent) SALES TAX INCREASE from 9.75% to 10.75% for everyone. NO EXEMPTIONS. Can we continue to afford the high spending habits of our city officials?

A Carson resident purchasing a $30,000.00 car will pay an extra $300.00 no matter where they buy it. This tax hurts those who can least afford it. More money to the city will only result in more spending.

The City of Bell is not the only small city with overpaid officials. The Mayor and Council Members each make close to $50,000.00 a year with perks and benefits for part-time positions. Our City Manager has an annual salary of approximately $300,000.00 with all perks and benefits. Have they forgotten that we're in a recession?

It's time to say enough is enough! Vote NO on Measure H. Reformation Before More Taxation. VOTE NO... ON MEASURE H.

President/Carson Citizens for Reform

President Carousel Homeowners Association


Taxpayer, Homeowner

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
Measure H will restore Carson to fiscal health and keep us on the right track. As appointed commissioners, it's our duty to act as your government watchdogs. We make sure Carson is run honestly and efficiently.

We've learned from our past. By holding city officials accountable, we've reduced crime and provided alternatives to gangs and drugs. We fund after-school park and recreation programs, graffiti removal services and fix our streets. But, in these hard times, we must do more. Measure H was placed on the ballot only AFTER two years of budget cuts and staffing reductions failed to keep pace with declining revenues.

Measure H raises the sales tax in Carson on an emergency basis by one percent (one penny) for five years only. It cannot be extended without another vote of the people. It contains tough safeguards to ensure that all funds are used as promised.

Measure H is NOT a property tax. It doesn't apply to food purchased as groceries nor prescription medicine. Every penny stays in Carson.

Measure H keeps Carson on a sound economic footing. Carson isn't like Bell, with its grossly overpaid officials, nor South Gate or Compton, for that matter. Despite the usual naysayers who oppose Measure H and want to see Carson return to its old ways, we've become a can-do city that's on the right track.

Remember, Measure H is an emergency measure for 5 years only. Vote to maintain 911 emergency response times and vital services. Vote Yes on Measure H.

Economic Development Commissioner

Public Safety Commission, Chairperson

Chairman, Planning Commission

Chairman Parks & Recreation Commission

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Created: January 6, 2011 14:58 PST
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