This is an archive of a past election.|
See http://www.smartvoter.org/ca/scl/ for current information.
Santa Clara Valley Water District
2/3 Approval Required
Pass: 434021 / 73.69% Yes votes ...... 154970 / 26.31% No votes
Index of all Measures
|Results as of Dec 17 1:46pm, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (1000/1000)|
|Information shown below: Summary | Yes/No Meaning | Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Full Text|
Shall Santa Clara Valley Water District renew an existing, expiring parcel tax without increasing rates, and issue bonds, described in Resolution 12-62, with independent citizen oversight and annual audits?
Proceeds from the tax would be used to carry out the District's Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program, which identifies specific projects within the District that would (1) ensure a safe, reliable water supply; (2) reduce pollution in waterways; (3) protect the water supply and dams from earthquakes and other natural disasters; (4) restore wildlife habitat and provide open space; and (5) provide flood protection for homes, businesses, streets and highways. The funds may only be used for projects within the District.
The parcel tax would work exactly like the existing tax. Specifically, a separate tax rate per unit of area would be applied to each of five different land use categories, ranging from vacant undisturbed land (which is taxed at the lowest rate) to commercial/industrial (which is taxed at the highest rate). On parcels in any given category that are equal to or less than a specified minimum size, a flat minimum tax could be levied. For example, the maximum annual tax for a single family residential parcel of .25 acre or less in 2013 would be $56. The rates may be adjusted annually for inflation, by up to the larger of a cost of living adjustment (CPI) or 3%. The rate could also be adjusted upward (up to CPI plus 4.5%) for up to three years immediately following a year in which a natural disaster is declared in the District's flood zones to pay for the costs of repairs caused by the disaster.
An independent committee would annually audit the implementation and results of the plan. In addition, the Board of Directors of the District would be required to conduct two professional audits of the program, at the fifth and tenth anniversaries, to provide for accountability and transparency.
The District may provide an exemption from the parcel tax for parcels owned and occupied by low-income seniors.
The parcel tax would appear as a separate item on each property tax bill and would be levied and collected at the same time and in the same manner as the general tax levy for county purposes.
A "yes" vote is a vote to continue, at the same rates, the special parcel tax on parcels within the Santa Clara Valley Water District's combined Flood Control Zone for a period of 15 years.
A "no" vote is a vote not to continue the parcel tax.
Lori E. Pegg
/s/ Susan Swain
League of Women Voters
|Arguments For Measure B||Arguments Against Measure B|
|Vote YES on Measure B to ensure safe, reliable local water supply in the Santa Clara Valley, without increasing tax rates.
Measure B is needed to:
Seventeen streams and 7 reservoirs in Santa Clara County have been designated "impaired" due to pollutants like mercury and PCBs in fish and the water. Without increasing tax rates, Measure B will renew local funding needed to continue improving water quality in our creeks and reservoirs - and track annual progress to ensure our water stays clean.
Measure B will allow the Santa Clara Valley Water District to bring in $400 million in federal and state matching funds to stimulate our local economy, create 3000 new jobs, and expand the focus of the current program of protecting local creeks and waterways to fund additional water supply, pollution cleanup and earthquake safety improvements.
By investing in long-term water supply projects in Santa Clara Valley, like retrofitting Anderson Dam so it's earthquake safe, Measure B will protect the community from water shortages during an extended drought.
If local funding is not renewed, a lack of funding will slow down or end many current programs that fight toxins and contaminants in waterways and protect homes and businesses.
Measure B requires mandatory annual audits and independent fiscal oversight by a citizens' monitoring committee to ensure all funds are spent as promised. Measure B includes exemptions for senior citizens.
Vote YES on B to ensure our safe, reliable, local water supply - without increasing tax rates.
/s/ Margaret MacNiven
/s/ Carl Guardino
/s/ A. Yiaway Yeh
/s/ Neil Struthers
/s/ Don Eagleston
The Water District' "YES" argument emphasizes a safe reliable water supply - because that's what people care most about - but turns around and doesn't put much of the budget into that purpose. They emphasize pollutants, but don't focus their budget on the programs likely to really improve water quality. Environmental goals are left vague and without the budget to accomplish significant change. They try to reassure us by citing the citizen's oversight committee. But the citizen's committee for the existing tax made recommendations recently to protect $15.7 million of environmental restoration reserves. Dismissing those recommendations, the District voted instead to distribute those reserves amongst the new tax's projects.
In response to a year's letters and expert testimony on how to write a strong, effective water-related measure focused on getting things done, the District made only minor changes and rejected most of the environmental community 's major recommendations.
The Sierra Club and Audubon Society have debated (sometimes heatedly) whether or not to endorse Measure B. Why? Because some see that the Water District hasn't kept their environmental commitments and is not likely to (without major change). Check our website (http://www.envirosforlivingstreams.org) or theirs to see what they finally decided.
Vote NO on Measure B. Send the District back to the drawing board to write a balanced ballot measure we can trust - before the existing tax expires in 2016.
/s/ Richard K. McMurtry
/s/ Lawrence M. Johmann
|Balanced funding between flood control, water supply and stream restoration is a good thing. It's also good to restore our Santa Clara County creeks to be "living streams" - full of fish and wildlife that once lived here in profusion and with opportunities for us all to enjoy these streams.
Sadly, the proposed tax doesn't provide this. The best way to fund flood control and stream restoration is to vote NO on this tax measure. This will send the Water District back to come up with a better plan before 2016 - when the current tax expires. We have time for a better plan!
The Water District could restore our creeks AND provide valued flood control and water supply services. But repeatedly, the Water District votes to make the environment low priority - diverting environmental funds to other programs and breaking their environmental agreements. For example, between 2000 and 2012, they took 60% ($15.7 million) of the environmental restoration revenues collected from taxpayers and didn't spend it on environmental projects. The new tax will slide those environmental reserves into other projects instead. Then they will collect another $15 million to do the same work that tax payer dollars in reserves were originally committed to do. Outrageous! Another example: in 2003, the District initialed an agreement to restore the trout fishery on three major streams. Then they found loop holes that allowed them to not honor their commitments.
The Water District does some good projects - just enough to fill their public relations brochures. But they cover up that they didn't do most of what they promised. If you want to see our creeks restored in our lifetimes and see better balance between flood control and stream restoration, then vote NO on Measure B!
See http://www.envirosforlivingstreams.org for more information.
/s/ Richard K. McMurtry
/s/ Lawrence M. Johmann
Opposing Measure B is simply irresponsible. Our local water district may not be perfect, but it does more for environmental protection than any other water agency in California. Measure B funds support many critical environmental improvements. Measure B is the ONLY source of funding for local environmental programs that we and our opponents are equally passionate about.
More importantly, Measure B isn't just about environmental protection. Urgent water supply and safety projects cannot wait.
We ALL care about ensuring a safe, clean water supply for our region's future. Toxin removal improves people's health as well as birds and fish. Some local dams and aging water supply pipelines are seismically inadequate and unprepared for earthquakes and natural disasters. We cannot delay these projects.
Finally, we CANNOT wait until 2016 to pass Measure B. That's flat-out false. By then, local funding will have expired, and many vital local water supply and clean-up projects (including environmental programs) will have stopped or disappeared completely. We will have delayed urgent seismic upgrades for no good reason.
It would be irresponsible to defeat this important measure because a few special interests think it isn't perfect. Measure B is vitally important to ensuring a safe, clean future supply. Passing it now is urgent. It cannot wait.
Please join us: vote Yes on B for safe, clean water.
/s/ Rod Diridon, Sr.
/s/ Herman Garcia
/s/ Frederick J. Ferrer
/s/ Clark Williams
/s/ Matt Mahood
|Full Text of Measure B|
|RESOLUTION NO. 12-62
PROVIDING FOR THE CONTINUATION AND LEVY OF A SPECIAL TAX TO PAY THE COST OF A SAFE, CLEAN WATER AND NATURAL FLOOD PROTECTION PROGRAM IN THE COMBINED FLOOD CONTROL ZONE OF THE SANTA CLARA VALLEY WATER DISTRICT SUBJECT, NEVERTHELESS, TO SPECIFIED LIMITS AND CONDITIONS
WHEREAS, Santa Clara Valley Water District (District) policy is to ensure current and future water supplies and provide healthy, clean and reliable water in Santa Clara County; and
WHEREAS, District policy is to ensure reliable, clean water supplies for Santa Clara County and to protect Santa Clara County creeks, reservoirs, Monterey Bay, and San Francisco Bay from contaminants; and
WHEREAS, District policy is to provide for flood water and storm water flood protection to residents, businesses, visitors, public highways, and the watercourses flowing within the District; and
WHEREAS, District policy is to protect our water supply, pipelines and local dams from earthquakes and natural disasters; and
WHEREAS, the District maintains a flood protection system of levees, channels, drains, debris basins and other improvements upon which the lives and property of District residents depend, which said improvements must be kept in a safe and effective condition; and
WHEREAS, the District policy is to protect, enhance and restore healthy Santa Clara County creeks, watersheds and baylands ecosystems; and
WHEREAS, the need for protection of Santa Clara County water supplies, creeks, watersheds and baylands has increased since the voters passed the Clean, Safe Creeks and Natural Flood Protection Plan in 2000; and
WHEREAS, the District policy is to engage in partnerships with the community to provide open spaces, trails and parks along Santa Clara County creeks and watersheds; and
WHEREAS, the California State Legislature has authorized the District to levy a special tax on each parcel of property within the District or any zone or zones thereof upon receiving the approving vote of a two-thirds majority of the electorate of the District or zones therein; and
WHEREAS, the purpose of the special tax is to supplement other available but limited revenues to keep said improvements in a safe and effective condition; to enable the District to respond to emergencies; to perform maintenance and repair; to acquire, restore and preserve habitat; to provide recreation; to conduct environmental education; to protect and improve water quality; and, to construct and operate flood protection and storm drainage facilities; including in each case the cost of financing such activities; and
WHEREAS, State California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines section 15378(b)(4), states that government funding mechanisms are not projects subject to the requirements of CEQA.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of Directors of Santa Clara Valley Water District as follows:
FIRST: The Board hereby finds that since (a) the management of creeks, watersheds and baylands to ensure safe, clean water and to protect, enhance and restore healthy ecosystems; and the construction and management of flood protection services, are made necessary by stormwater runoff, and (b) the lands from which runoff derives are benefitted by provision of means of disposition which alleviates or ends the damage to other lands affected thereby, by direct protection of loss of property, and other indirect means which include improved aesthetics and quality of life, the basis on which to levy the special tax is at fixed and uniform rates per area and county or city designated land use of each parcel, taxed as such parcel is shown on the latest tax rolls.
SECOND: Pursuant to the authority of Section 3 of the District Act, a Combined Zone consisting of the aggregate metes and bounds descriptions of Zones One, Two, Three, Four and Five is presently existing.
THIRD: A special District Election will be called within said District, on the proposition of levy of a special tax.
FOURTH: Subject to approval by two-thirds of the electors of the District voting at such election and pursuant to the authority vested in the Board, there is hereby established a special tax as authorized by this resolution, the proceeds of which shall be used solely for the purpose of supporting the priorities of the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection program. The priorities are summarized in Table 1. The Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program Report (hereafter "Report") generally describes the priorities. This tax shall be instituted with the following provisions:
A. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or designee of the District is directed to cause a written Report to be prepared for each fiscal year for which a special tax is to be levied and to file and record the same, all as required by governing law. Said Report shall include the proposed special tax rates for the upcoming fiscal year at any rate up to the maximum rate approved by the voters. A special fund shall be established into which proceeds from the tax shall be deposited. Proceeds from the tax may used only for the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program.
B. The CEO, or designee of the District may cause the special tax to be corrected in the same manner as assessor's or assessee's errors may be corrected but based only upon any or all of the following:
1. Changes or corrections in ownership of a parcel;
2. Changes or corrections of address of an owner of a parcel;
3. Subdivision of an existing parcel;
4. Changes or corrections in the use of all or part of a parcel;
5. Changes or corrections in the computation of the area of a parcel;
6. As to railroad, gas, water, telephone, cable television, electric utility right of way, electric line right of way or other utility right of way properties.
Changes and corrections are not valid unless and until approved by the Board.
C. The Clerk of the Board shall immediately file certified copies of the final determination of special taxes and confirming resolution with the Auditor-Controller of the County of Santa Clara and shall immediately record with the County Recorder of said County a certified copy of the resolution confirming the special tax.
D. The special tax for each parcel set forth in the final determination by the Board shall appear as a separate item on the tax bill and shall be levied and collected at the same time and in the same manner as the general tax levy for county purposes. Upon recording of the resolution confirming the special tax such special tax shall be a lien upon the real property affected thereby.
E. Failure to meet the time limits set forth in this resolution for whatever reason shall not invalidate any special tax levied hereunder.
F. No special tax for the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program shall be imposed upon a federal or state or local governmental agency. With said exception, a Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program special tax is levied on each parcel of real property in the five Flood Control Zones of the District subject to this resolution for the purposes stated in the Report and in this Resolution. Except for the minimum special tax as hereinafter indicated, the special tax for each parcel of real property in each such zone is computed by determining its area (in acres or fractions thereof) and land use category (as hereinafter defined) and then multiplying the area by the special tax rate applicable to land in such land use category. A minimum special tax may be levied on each parcel of real property having a land area up to 0.25 acre for Groups A, B, and C, up to 10 acres for Groups D and E Urban and, for Group E Rural, the minimum special tax shall be that as calculated for the E Urban category.
G. Land use categories for each parcel of land in the District are defined and established as follows:
Group A: Land used for commercial or industrial purposes.
Group B: Land used for institutional purposes such as churches and schools or multiple dwellings in excess of four units, including apartment complexes, mobile home parks, recreational vehicle parks, condominiums, and townhouses.
Group C: (1) Land used for single family residences and multiple family units up to four units. (2) The first 0.25 acre of a parcel of land used for single family residential purposes.
Group D: (1) Disturbed agricultural land, including irrigated land, orchards, dairies, field crops, golf courses and similar uses. (2) The portion of the land, if any, in excess of 0.25 acre of a parcel used for single family residential purposes.
Group E: Vacant undisturbed land (1) in urban areas and (2) in rural areas including dry farmed land, grazing and pasture land, forest and brush land, salt ponds and small parcels used exclusively as well sites for commercial purposes.
Group F: Parcels used exclusively as well sites for residential uses are exempt from the special tax.
H. The special tax amounts applicable to parcels in the various land uses shall be as prescribed by the Board of Directors in each fiscal year (July 1 through June 30) beginning with fiscal year 2013-2014 all as stated above, in the Report and as required by law; provided, that the annual basic special tax unit (single family residential parcel) shall not exceed a maximum limit of $56, as adjusted by the compounded percentage increases of the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) for all Urban Consumers (or an equivalent index published by a government agency) in the year or years since April 30, 2013; provided, however that appropriate amounts may be increased in any year by up to the larger of the percentage increase of the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers in the preceding year or three percent (3%); and provided, further, however that in any period, not exceeding three years, immediately following a year in which the Governor of the State of California or the President of the United States has declared an area of said zones to be a disaster area by reason of flooding or other natural disaster, then to the extent of the cost of repair of District facilities damaged by such flooding or other natural disaster, the maximum tax rate shall be the percentage increase in CPI-U plus 4.5 percent and provided, that special taxes for the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program shall be levied for a total of 15 years and, therefore, shall not be levied beyond June 30, 2028.
I. Pursuant to the State California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines section 15378(b)(4), adoption of this resolution for continuation of the parcel tax and as a government funding mechanism, is not a project subject to the requirements of CEQA. Prior to commencement of any project included in the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program, any necessary environmental review required by CEQA shall be completed.
J. The Board of Directors may direct that proposed projects in the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program be modified or not implemented depending upon a number of factors, including federal and state funding limitations and the analysis and results of CEQA environmental review. The Board of Directors must hold a formal, public hearing on the matter, which will be noticed by publication and notification to interested parties, before adoption of any such decision to modify or not implement a project.
K. In the event that the county or city designated land use for a parcel is different than the actual land use, the CEO of the District may, pursuant to written policies and procedures, cause the special tax to be adjusted based upon any or all of the following:
1. The parcel owner shall provide the District a claim letter stating that the present actual land use is different than the county or city designated land use, including an estimate of the portion of the parcel that is different than the designated land use. Such claim is subject to investigation by the District as to the accuracy of the claim. Parcel owner shall furnish information deemed necessary by the District to confirm the actual uses and areas in question which may include, but not be limited to, a survey by a licensed surveyor.
2. The parcel owner shall request the District to inspect the parcel and reevaluate the parcel tax.
3. The parcel owner shall notify the District after a substantial change in the actual land use occurs, including a new estimate of the portion of the parcel that is different than the designated land use.
4. The District may inspect and verify the actual land use for these parcels on a regular basis and will notify the appropriate parcel owners when it is determined that the actual land use has matched a county or city designated land use. The District shall then correct the special tax rates for these parcels accordingly.
L. Pursuant to state law, the District may provide an exemption from the special tax for low income owner-occupied residential properties for taxpayer-owners who are 65 years of age or older, the following shall apply:
Residential parcels where the total annual household income does not exceed 75 percent of the latest available figure for state median income at the time the annual tax is set, and such parcel is owned and occupied by at least one person who is aged 65 years or older is qualified to apply for an exemption from the applicable special tax.
M. An external, independent monitoring committee shall be appointed by the District Board of Directors to conduct an annual audit and provide an annual Report to the Board of Directors regarding implementation of the intended results of the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program; at the fifth and tenth anniversaries of the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program, the committee will identify to the District Board of Directors such modifications as may be reasonably necessary to meet the priorities of the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program.
N. During the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program period, the Board of Directors shall conduct at least two professional audits of the Program to provide for accountability and transparency.
O. Upon entering into effect, the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program parcel tax authorized by this resolution and placed on the ballot by RESOLUTION NO. 12-63 will repeal and replace the Clean, Safe Creeks and Natural Flood Protection Plan parcel tax approved by the voters in 2000. On the date that the parcel tax authorized by this resolution and RESOLUTION NO. 12-63 goes into effect, the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program will replace in its entirety the Clean, Safe Creeks and Natural Flood Protection Plan; any tax payments already made by voters and collected for use by the Water District for the Clean, Safe Creeks and Natural Flood Protection Plan will be used to achieve priorities identified in the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program. Funding for capital projects currently identified in the Clean, Safe Creeks and Natural Flood Protection Plan, will continue under the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program to meet previous commitments. All other projects and programs identified in the Clean, Safe Creeks and Natural Flood Protection Plan will be replaced by comparable projects or programs with similar or expanded obligations under the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program.
PASSED AND ADOPTED by the Board of Directors of Santa Clara Valley Water District by the following vote on July 24, 2012:
SANTA CLARA VALLEY WATER DISTRICT
By: s/ Linda J. LeZotte
ATTEST: s/ Michele L. King, CMC
Providing for the continuation and levy of a special tax to pay the cost of a Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program in the combined flood control zone of the Santa Clara Valley Water District subject, nevertheless, to specified limits and conditions