This is an archive of a past election.|
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Telecommunications Users' Tax Amendments
City of Chula Vista
Majority Approval Required
Fail: 23,303 / 43.7% Yes votes ...... 30,003 / 56.3% No votes
Index of all Propositions
|Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments ||
Shall the ordinance to modernize the City's 1978 Telephone Users' Tax (renamed the Telecommunications Users' Tax), with no rate increase; maintain exemptions for low income senior citizens; ensure Tax proceeds continue to be available for general municipal purposes, including police, fire, streets, libraries, and parks; revise the method for calculating and collecting the Tax to reflect technological and legal changes; and amend the tax base to equitable include all applicable telecommunications services be adopted?
In terms of technology, Chula Vista residents, instead of solely using traditional landline telephones, now have additional technologies and services to choose from, including private network communications (T-1 lines), cell phones, voice-over-internet telephone services (VoIP), 800 and 900 services, pre-paid calling card services, and paging services.
In terms of the legal changes, the current Utility Users' Tax was written before changes to federal law, including The Mobile Telecommunications Sourcing Act of 2000 and IRS regulations, concerning how the Federal Excise Tax ("FET") applies to long distance services, were made.
If approved by a majority of voters, Proposition H would modernize the Utility Users' Tax to correspond with changes in telecommunications since the 1970's. Other cites have similarly modernized their Utility Users' Tax. Consistent with the modernization of the Utility Users' Tax, Proposition H renames the "Telephone Users' Tax", the "Telecommunications Users' Tax."
Proposition H establishes a modern definition of telecommunication services subject to the tax. The modern definition would apply to all types of telecommunications regardless of the technology that is used and regardless of whether the communication is intrastate, interstate, or international. Among the telecommunication services are private network communications (T-1 line), cell phones, voice-over-internet telephone services (VoIP), 800 and 900 services, pre-paid calling card services, and paging services. The Proposition ensures the Telecommunications User's Tax is in compliance with current federal laws and assists to avoid potential litigation.
Proposition H continues the current tax rate of five percent (5%) that is imposed on telecommunication services. While the tax rate has not changed, some types of telecommunication services, which were not previously taxed, are now also taxed. Proposition H does not tax Internet services or cable or video programming services subject to franchise fees.
Taxes generated from Proposition H are general taxes, meaning they go into the general fund. General fund monies are used to pay for many public services, such as police, fire, libraries, park and recreation services, and maintenance, repair, and replacement of City property.
Proposition H assigns the City Finance Director the duties of Tax Administrator, tasked with administering the Proposition. The Proposition provides that the tax will be collected from the telecommunications carrier. Should they fail to pay in a timely fashion, penalties and interest will be assessed.
Proposition H provides that independent third party audits may continue to be conducted to ensure the tax has been properly applied, exempted, collected and remitted, and revenues were properly expended. Over paid taxes will be refunded. Anyone may appeal the assessment of the tax. The Proposition continues the existing exemption for qualified senior citizens. The tax cannot be increased without a vote of the residents of Chula Vista.
|Arguments For Proposition H||Arguments Against Proposition H|
|Protect our parks, libraries, and police & fire services by joining us in protecting our Telecommunications Users' Tax.
Proposition H protects the revenues received from telecommunications companies and keeps the current rate unchanged at 5%.
Prop H is not a new tax. When the ordinance was drafted in 1970, today's mobile phones didn't even exist. This outdated law prevents Chula Vista from collecting users' tax fairly from all telecommunications providers. Some providers don't pay it at all!
95% or more of Chula Vista residents and businesses already pay their fair share of this fee. Prop H expands and modernizes telecommunications definitions to address state and federal changes since 1970 so every resident is treated equally.
If Prop H fails, the City could lose $6 million per year, which currently funds:
Losing $6 million per year in telecommunications revenues would mean further cuts in services to close budget deficits even greater than those the city already addressed during the past three years.
Prop H protects what we receive from telecommunications companies so residents can have the services we need.
Supporters of Prop H claim the Utility Users' Tax is NOT a new tax. Who are they kidding? Chula Vista residents will be charged a new 5% tax on their cell phone bills if Prop H passes. The City can't even be truthful that passage will result in a tax INCREASE.
Don't believe false promises
This tax hurts working families the most
No means NO!
|Prop H is a TAX INCREASE |
Prop H will impose NEW TAXES on services used by Chula Vista residents and businesses. If you use a cellphone, pager, or make toll free or international telephone calls, you will likely end up paying more in taxes.
Worst possible time to raise taxes
New taxes could easily end up paying for pensions and salary increases, not services
Reform before revenue
Don't reward fiscal irresponsibility
The City needs to reduce labor costs, streamline operations, and demonstrate fiscal discipline before asking taxpayers to cough up more in taxes.
Prop H funds help provide police and fire protection, parks, libraries and other vital city services.
Prop H treats every resident fairly. 95% of all residents and businesses already pay the Telecommunications Users' Tax. Prop H updates the law to treat all taxpayers equally, and Prop H keeps the current 5% rate unchanged.
100% of telecommunications providers that serve Chula Vista already collect the tax on all calls placed within California.
99% of these providers already pay on cell phones, interstate and international calls, text messaging, prepaid and postpaid telecommunications and paging. Prop H will ensure that ALL providers play by the same rules.
Important fiscal reforms have already been implemented to tighten our belts.
The City has already made extensive budget reforms since 2007, eliminating 259 permanent full-time positions and cutting spending by 20%. In August, the City began budget planning six months in advance to balance the 2011-12 budget.
But now, nearly $6 million of the City's annual revenues are at risk if Prop H is not passed. Help safeguard our city from devastating layoffs and service reductions.
Voters can support Prop H while City employees and the City Council work on reforms to salaries and benefits, reserve funds, and require balanced budgets. The quality of life in Chula Vista hinges on these important reforms.