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Renew Existing Municipal Services Tax
City of Piedmont
Parcel Tax - 2/3 Approval Required
Pass: 4549 / 68.33% Yes votes ...... 2108 / 31.67% No votes
Index of all Measures
|Results as of Feb 1 2:01pm, 100.00% of Precincts Reporting (6/6)|
|Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Full Text|
To maintain essential police, fire, and paramedic service, to prevent the reduction in maintenance in City parks, greenspaces and other public areas, and to prevent the loss of youth, family, and senior recreational and safety services, shall the City of Piedmont continue to authorize a parcel tax, replacing the existing Municipal Services Tax, as is more specifically set forth in Or. 707 N.S. which is on file with the Piedmont City Clerk?
Revenue from the Municipal Services Tax goes to the City's General Fund and therefore can be used to fill gaps when residents' demand for city services exceeds the funds generated by real property taxes, sales taxes and other revenue. The General Fund provides Piedmonters with basic services such as police and fire protection, street maintenance, building regulations, library services, recreation, parks maintenance, planning and public works.
Measure Y does not increase the current tax rate or change the procedure for setting the rate; it merely extends the life of the tax for another four years to June 30, 2017. The tax rate would continue to vary by parcel depending on the size and the nature of a parcel's use (i.e., residential/commercial). Advanced notice and a public hearing would continue to be provided before the City Council sets the annual tax rate.
The Municipal Service Tax must be used locally and will undergo annual financial review.
A "Yes" vote on Measure Y means the voter is in favor of continuing the existing tax.
A "No" vote on Measure Y means the voter is opposed and the existing tax would no longer be collected.
Two-thirds (66%) of the qualified voters casting a vote in favor would approve Measure Y.
The above statement is an impartial analysis of Measure Y. The full text of Measure Y is printed in the Voter's Information Pamphlet and is also available on the City of Piedmont's website at: http://www.ci.piedmont.ca.us.
Pros & Cons Presentation
|Arguments For Measure Y||Arguments Against Measure Y|
|Measure Y RENEWS an existing tax that provides funds to maintain existing city services. Measure Y provides funding for Piedmont's: superb police, fire and paramedic services; library access, and other services as well as park and playground maintenance; street and sidewalk repairs; capital improvements; equipment maintenance and replacement.
For the past 32 years, Piedmont voters have approved a special tax called the Municipal Services Tax ("the parcel tax") to supplement our city budget. The average property pays slightly less than $400 per year. Unlike most cities in California, Piedmont receives virtually no sales tax revenue. Without Measure Y, cuts in essential city services will be unavoidable.
Measure Y is not a new tax; it RENEWS an existing tax. The citizens who served on both the Municipal Tax Review Committee (MTRC) and the Budget Advisory and Financial Planning Committee determined that renewal of the existing Municipal Services Tax is essential if Piedmont is to maintain its high standards of municipal services. The MTRC report stated: "Parcel tax revenue has become an essential component of the City's fiscal picture, totaling about $1.5 million annually in a general fund expenditure plan of about $21.5 million. Therefore, it will be essential to renew the parcel tax at its current level before it expires on June 30, 2013."
All the money raised by Measure Y will stay here in our community to provide services and benefits to Piedmont's residents. The Municipal Services Tax would not be necessary if the State of California was not taking approximately $1.6 million per year in property tax revenues from Piedmont. As a special tax, parcel tax revenue cannot be diverted by the State.
The City Council unanimously supports RENEWAL of the existing Municipal Services Tax, because Measure Y is essential for the maintenance of city services.
Please Vote YES ON MEASURE Y.
Despite dangerously low reserves, the Council wasted millions on undergrounding, the pool takeover, Blair Park, and uncontrolled fringe benefits. Piedmont's police and fire services cost 50-75% more per household than in comparable small, affluent cities. In the past two years, the MTRC, Budget Advisory Committee and Undergrounding Task Force have given the Council a road map to fiscal soundness, yet the Council still hasn't acted on these groups' most important recommendations. Piedmont's voters must now force the issue by demonstrating they don't support poor financial decisions and wasteful spending.
Scare tactics aside, essential services are NOT at stake. The parcel tax provides only 7% of the City's budget. The Council can ask for the parcel tax renewal again, after instituting needed reforms and regaining our confidence, and seek service efficiencies now while phasing in benefit reforms. Piedmont cannot afford to let the Council "kick the can down the road." If the Council continues to delay reforms, the possible consequences could be serious, including inability to meet obligations to our citizens and valued employees.
Put the brakes on the Council's wasteful spending. Vote NO on Measure Y.
|Short-term taxes don't solve long-term problems. Thus, the majority of the Council-appointed Municipal Tax Review Committee (MTRC) opposes Measure Y.
In recent months, MTRC and the Council's Budget Advisory Committee reported on the City's long-term fiscal problems, determining that current trends are unsustainable. These revolve around over-spending and out-of-control budgets. The Council has so far ignored the most serious recommendations presented. Ill-advised spending continues its upward trend.
Among the worst examples which have led to millions of dollars of unneeded expense are:
Rather than tackling these problems, the Council has used the parcel tax as a bail-out to paper over the lack of budgetary control. The parcel tax does not support critical services but simply gives the Council a way to avoid making hard decisions.
The majority of MTRC now says it's time to stop the bail-out and force those decisions. The Council will have to set priorities and establish proper controls.
We are not opposed in principle to parcel taxes. If the Council takes needed actions to control costs, we will support one for essential purposes in the future. Today, however, the tax is not being used wisely or efficiently.
Insist on fiscal responsibility from the Council and vote No on Measure Y.
/s/ Ryan Gilbert, Member, Municipal Tax Review Committee
The opponents to Measure Y want to eliminate this critical source of funding because they are unhappy with the way Piedmont is managed. They believe that the way to get their way is to cut $1.6 million from our community budget -- money that even they have described as essential to the running of the city. The following quote is from the Municipal Tax Review Committee:
"Parcel tax revenue has become an essential component of the City's fiscal picture.... it will be essential to renew the parcel tax at its current level ..."
Municipal Tax Review Committee Chair: Michael Rancer
Measure Y is not a new tax -- it just extends the current tax. Without Measure Y Piedmont will face significant cuts to city services. Countless meetings will be held and, in the end, it is likely that service levels will be reduced or the city will not set aside funds for replacement and repair of assets.
This measure has nothing to do with undergrounding, play fields or pensions. It is merely an extension of a tax we have been paying for 32 years.
Vote YES on Measure Y because you value the services our City provides to the community. Every dollar stays in Piedmont to benefit all Piedmonters and the quality of life we enjoy.
/s/ John Y. Chiang, Mayor
|Full Text of Measure Y|
|ORDINANCE NO. 707 N.S.
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 20B OF THE PIEDMONT CITY CODE PROVIDING FOR A SPECIAL MUNICIPAL SERVICES TAX
The City Council of the City of Piedmont hereby ordains as follows:
SECTION 1 It is the intent of the City Council of the City of Piedmont in adopting this Ordinance to provide for the continuation of an excise tax, specifically a non-ad valorem parcel tax to be imposed as a special tax for the availability and provision of municipal services in Piedmont. Further, the availability and provision of City services and the demand for City services is closely tied to the uses and occupancies of property within the City, and it is logical to base such tax on use and occupancy of improved real property.
SECTION 2 Chapter 20B of the Piedmont City Code is hereby amended in its entirety to read as follows:
"CHAPTER 20B MUNICIPAL SERVICES SPECIAL TAX
SECTION 20B.1 AUTHORITY TO ADOPT MEASURE This Ordinance and the tax authorized herein is adopted pursuant to the provisions of Article 3.7 of Chapter 4 of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 5 of the Government Code (Sections 53720-53730) and the California Constitution Articles XI, Section 5, XIII A, Section 4 and XIII D, Section 3(a)(2). The tax authorized herein is based on use and occupancy of improved real property.
SECTION 20B.2 AUTHORIZATION TO LEVY SPECIAL MUNICIPAL TAX If in any fiscal year commencing on or after July 1, 2013, the City Council shall determine that municipal services, including, but not limited to, police and fire protection, street maintenance, building regulations, library services, recreation, parks maintenance, planning and public works and similar services, are necessary for the public good, welfare and safety, and that the cost of making available such services will exceed the amount of funds generated through other revenue and income of the City for such services, then it may levy a special tax for such fiscal year on each parcel of real property within the City in a manner provided herein. This is a non-ad valorem parcel tax which, pursuant to California Constitution Article XIII D, Section 3, shall be deemed a special tax as defined pursuant to Section 53721 of the California Government Code.
SECTION 20B.3 DETERMINATION OF AMOUNT TO BE RAISED Each year concurrent with the adoption of the annual budget, the City Council will determine the total amount of expenditures necessary to provide adequate levels of municipal services as defined in Section 20B.2 and deduct therefrom the projected revenue to be collected from sources other than this special tax. The difference, if any, shall be the maximum amount of funds to be derived from the tax authorized by this Ordinance for such year.
SECTION 20B.4 MAXIMUM TAX RATE/METHOD OF ASSESSMENT After determining the amount of tax to be raised under Section 20B.3, the City Council shall apportion said amount among the parcels of real property within the City not exempted by law or exempted pursuant to Section 20B.12, as follows:
BASIC MUNICIPAL SERVICES TAX MAXIMUM RATE SCHEDULE Per Parcel According to Size
Single Family Residence
An amount equal to the percentage increase or decrease in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for all Urban Consumers (All items) (Base Year 1984 = 100) (Not Seasonally Adjusted) for the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, California area, as published by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, for the period from December 2012 to December of the fiscal year immediately prior to the year in which the percentage adjustment will apply, multiplied by the specific tax rate in the foregoing Maximum Municipal Services Tax Maximum Rate schedule. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the maximum percentage increase of this tax as compared to the same tax in the prior fiscal year shall be 4%.
For purposes of example only, if the maximum tax rate in the 2013/14 fiscal year for a single family resident parcel of 5,000 square feet is $399.00, and the Consumer Price Index for December 2012 is 100 and for December 2013 is 103, the increase of 3 is a 3% increase, meaning an additional maximum tax of $11.97 for the 2014/2015 fiscal year or a total maximum tax of $410.97 for such fiscal year.
The records of the Alameda County Assessor as of March 1 of the fiscal year immediately preceding the fiscal year in which the special taxes are payable shall determine whether or not any particular parcel is unimproved for purposes of this Ordinance. All improved parcels which are located entirely within the City of Piedmont shall be subject to the special taxes assessed pursuant to Chapter 20B. In addition, on improved parcels which are located partially within the City of Piedmont, all such parcels whose residents are eligible to register to vote in Piedmont and/or all such parcels which are eligible to receive services from the City of Piedmont pursuant to the 911 Emergency System as of March 1 of the fiscal year immediately preceding the fiscal year in which the special taxes are payable shall be subject to the special taxes assessed pursuant to Chapter 20B. Each parcel shall be taxed pursuant to this Section 20B.4 according to its actual use as of March 1 of the fiscal year immediately preceding the fiscal year in which any such special tax is payable.
SECTION 20B.5 HEARING, TAX LIEN AND INCLUSION IN CITY TAXES Prior to levying a tax under this Ordinance in any fiscal year, the City Council shall conduct a public hearing on the proposed tax. Such hearing may be conducted simultaneously with a hearing relating to the annual budget for the fiscal year in which the special tax is to apply. Notice of such hearing shall be posted on the official bulletin board at City Hall at least 10 days prior to the hearing. All of the information and material which the City Council intends to consider at such hearing and the proposed amount of tax to be raised shall be made available to the public by being on file in the office of the City Clerk for at least 10 days prior to said hearing.
Following said hearing, the Council may adopt a resolution fixing the amount of tax to be raised.
SECTION 20B.6 COLLECTION Pursuant to Government Code section 53087.4, any special tax authorized under this chapter shall be collected by the Tax Collector of the County of Alameda. Any charges made by such Tax Collector shall be paid out of funds deducted from the gross proceeds of the tax.
SECTION 20B.7 INCREASE APPROPRIATIONS LIMIT Pursuant to California Constitution Article XIIIB, the appropriations limit for the City of Piedmont will be increased by the aggregate sum collected by levy of this special tax in each of the years covered by this Ordinance.
SECTION 20B.8 FUNDING AND EXPENDING PROCEEDS Proceeds of any tax levied under this Ordinance shall be deposited into the General Fund of the City.
SECTION 20B.9 UNEXPENDED RESIDUE To the extent it has actually determined by an audit of the City's finances that there is an unexpended residue (as defined hereafter) of any money raised by the City under this Ordinance for a particular fiscal year, then the City Council shall use such residue in the next fiscal year for which the tax under this Ordinance has not been established, and shall reduce the amount of the tax for such subsequent fiscal year by the amount of the unexpended residue. Unexpended residue of any money raised by the City under this Ordinance may only be used in the succeeding year for the purposes stated in this Ordinance or and to the extent there is an unexpended residue for the 2012-2013 fiscal year ending June 30, 2013, such unexpended residue shall be returned to the taxpayer on the same pro rata basis as originally levied by a refund or by a reduction in subsequent taxes. "Unexpended residue" as used in this Section 20B.9 shall mean the amount the General Fund Reserve of the City exceeds twenty-five percent (25%) of the actual general operating expenses of the City in the fiscal year in question. "General Fund Reserve" as used in this Section 20B.9 is defined as the unencumbered balance maintained in the general fund for the purpose of meeting unforeseen expenses, unrealized revenue estimates, or other emergencies of the City.
SECTION 20B.10 SEVERABILITY If any provision of this Ordinance or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect any other provisions or applications, and to this end the provisions this Ordinance are declared to be severable.
SECTION 20B.11 DURATION, AMENDMENT OR REPEAL The authorization to levy a tax under this Ordinance shall expire with the fiscal year 2016-2017 ending June 30, 2017. This Ordinance, or any provision thereof, may only be amended or repealed by approval of a two-thirds majority of the voters voting on the proposition at any initiative or referendum election.
This Ordinance shall be adopted, if approved by a two-thirds majority of the voters voting on the proposition at an election to be held on Tuesday, November 6, 2012, and shall be effective commencing with the fiscal year that begins on July 1, 2013; provided that the provisions of Chapter 20B in effect on November 6, 2012 shall remain in effect for all purposes relating to the taxes provided thereunder through the fiscal year ending June 30, 2013.
SECTION 20B.12 EXEMPTIONS The City Council may from time to time by Council resolution adopt exemptions to the tax measures set further herein."
SECTION 3 This Ordinance shall require passage by a 4/5ths vote of the City Council in compliance with the provisions of Section 53724(b) of the California Government Code, shall be posted at City Hall after its second reading by the City Council for at least 30 days, and shall not become effective unless approved by a two-thirds majority of the voters voting on the proposition at an election to be held on Tuesday, November 6, 2012.