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Smart Voter
Riverside County, CA November 4, 2014 Election
Measure DD
Local Control/Fiscal Accountability
City of Canyon Lake

Utility User Tax - Majority Approval Required

Pass: 1,540 / 50.79% Yes votes ...... 1,492 / 49.21% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of November 21 7:51am, 100.00%% of Precincts Reporting (7/7)
Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments |

To maintain Canyon Lake as an independent City providing effective 911, paramedic, firefighter services; maintaining sheriffs deputies/staffing levels; keeping Canyon Lake Fire Station open; preserving local control over land use decisions; maintaining Railroad Canyon Road/other city services, shall the City of Canyon Lake establish a 3.95% utility users' tax for 6 years, requiring no tax increase without voter approval; annual, published independent audits, and no money for Sacramento?

Impartial Analysis from City Attorney
Measure "DD" was placed on the ballot by the City Council by action at its August 6, 2014 meeting. If approved by majority vote of the voters voting on the measure, Measure "DD" would approve an ordinance adopting a Utility User Tax ("UUT"). Based upon an analysis from an independent financial adviser, the revenues from the UUT would have been sufficient to eliminate the City budget shortfall identified in the 2013-14 fiscal year.

A UUT is a tax on utility services used by City residents within the City. The ordinance broadly defines received "utility services" as those for electricity, natural gas, water and sewer, telephone and solid waste/refuse collection. The ordinance presumes that billings received by Canyon Lake residents are for such services used within the City. The ordinance provides details regarding the levy and collection of the tax; however, state and federal laws will supersede the ordinance provisions. For example, certain internet services and solar electrical energy generated only for personal use are exempt from taxation pursuant to the provisions of state law and the proposed ordinance. Propane tanks purchased for use within the City are exempted from tax by the ordinance. There is an appeal process to dispute the imposition or amount of the tax.

The tax rate proposed is 3.95% with no increase allowed. The tax would be levied on the amount of each separate utility bill, so the amount of tax would vary with the cost of the utility services provided for that billing period. The tax would be collected by each utility provider and paid to the City. There are penalties for non-collection as well as for non-payment. The ordinance requires an annual, independent audit of the collection and use of funds.

If approved, the collection of the tax will begin as soon as possible after such approval, but no later than January 1, 2015. The tax will terminate by its terms on December 31, 2020.

If Measure "DD" is not approved by a majority vote of the voters voting on the Measure, then the UUT will not be approved and will not go into effect.

The above statement is an impartial analysis of Measure "DD". If you desire a copy of the measure, and the ordinance, please call the election official's office at (951) 246-2024 and a copy will be provided to you at no cost to you.

By: Elizabeth Martyn, City Attorney
City of Canyon Lake

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Arguments For Measure DD Arguments Against Measure DD

YES on "DD" maintains Canyon Lake as an independent, self- governing City to protect our interests from County bureaucrats, developers and politicians.

YES on "DD" maintains our local control and authority over land use issues.

YES on "DD" maintains funding for rapid 9-1-1 emergency response times that save lives and property.

YES on "DD" maintains funding for local needs, like keeping Railroad Canyon Road in good condition.

Without more money, Canyon Lake won't survive beyond the next several years. The City of Canyon Lake provides police and fire protection at the level needed for our residents, many of whom are seniors--YES on "DD"

Currently, Canyon Lake paramedics and firefighters respond to your 9-1-1 calls within 3-4 minutes. Without funding from "DD", it would be up to County officials to determine the level of these services, not your local elected City Council accountable to you. Closure of the City's only local Fire Station would extend response times to 8-10 minutes, or longer, outside of the 5 minute safety parameter cited by the American Medical Association--YES on "DD"

Other services + ensuring Lake quality, conducting code enforcement and maintaining control over our own land use decisions--also preserve the quality of life we all value so highly. YES on "DD" ensures Canyon Lake has the financial resources to continue providing these services.

YES on "DD" is Fiscally Accountable, requiring independent annual audits, NO tax increase without voter approval, and expiration in six years.

We incorporated in the early 1990's to ensure Local Control over our own destiny and services. YES on "DD" preserves our local authority so we aren't subject to the whims of County politicians who don't live in our City. Vote YES on "DD" for the future of Canyon Lake!

For factual information, visit:

By: Randall P. "Randy" Bonner, Mayor
David A. Eilers, President of CLPOA
Joanna Spiller, 26 Year Resident and Active Community Member
Rich Moline, Canyon Lake United Committee Chairman
Linda Kamashian, 25 Year Resident

Rebuttal to Arguments For
Canyon Lake City Council tried twice to convince you to vote for a tax to fund the fire station, each time the tax measured failed because it did not receive the required 2/3 majority to pass. So they call this tax a utility tax for the City General fund (not the Fire Station) so it can pass with 50% +1 vote.

The City published their budget and all expenses are accounted for, except one. That one is Fire, which is $750,000 short. The proponents claim (no independent certification) this tax will raise $775,000 annually. Amazing that amount is the same that's needed to fund the Fire Station. But if they told you the truth then passing vote would be 2/3 and they know you will not, and have not, passed a tax like that.

The council has refused to discuss any alternatives to the tax. The City Council refuses to provide financial projections, the council cannot insure that this tax will even take care of the immediate problems, much less the annual increases in services.

If this tax passes you will pay more for your utility bills every month, forever. But you will also pay higher POA dues because the POA will have to pay more for their water and electricity costs which then - is passed on to us.

The alternative to taxing is leadership and planning. Taxing the citizens doesn't take thought, planning, discussion, or action.

Don't double tax yourselves. Vote NO on Measure "DD"

By: John Zaitz

The Canyon Lake City Council is at it again. They have decided that asking residents twice to tax themselves and residents responding with a resounding "No" twice is not enough. Now, they want to try it for a third time. The first two times they needed it to keep fire station 60 open, but the station is still open.

This time they cannot even guarantee the station will remain open if the tax passes. This time they are trying an end run around the two-thirds approval requirement of past efforts and trying to impose a utility tax, the proceeds of which will go directly into the city's general account where the council can do anything it pleases with the funds. They are telling us now they need it for Railroad Canyon Road, a road that was just upgraded.

The City Council does not have any financial projections to determine if the tax would make a difference for the long term financial stability of Canyon Lake, who would administer it, where the money would actually end up, exactly how it would be collected, etc. The Council and City Staff have failed to do their jobs and are asking you to decide what to do without even providing crucial information.

If Canyon Lake is to remain a city, we need a long-term solution to our chronic financial problems, not another short-term tax band aid. And if we do not remain a city, we should remember that nothing will change our gated community. We will still have our "bit of paradise." We can have the same response time for emergencies even under another city. We can get everything we have today without a Utility Tax. A NO vote gives us what we have today - we won't lose anything.

Vote No on "DD"

By: John Zaitz

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
Our opponent thinks it's a myth that an independent, locally controlled Canyon Lake isn't in jeopardy. The fact is, YES on "DD" is the best choice to keeping Canyon Lake a self-governing City!

FACT: YES on "DD" ensures local funding and control over OUR City services and decision-making. Would a County bureaucrat know what's best for us? NO! Vote YES on "DD"!

FACT: YES on "DD" maintains critical funding to preserve rapid emergency 9-1-1 response times that save lives and property. Without Measure DD, emergency fire and paramedic response times would increase to 11-14 minutes + outside of the safety parameters cited by the American Medical Association.

FACT: By law, YES on "DD" requires strong transparency and fiscal accountability protections + including annual independent audits, NO future tax increase without voter approval, and expiration in six years. Measure "DD" proceeds will be spent responsibly and as promised!

FACT: YES on "DD" preserves local decision-making power on policy issues, including land use, Lake quality and essential public safety services we all use. Measure "DD" maintains Railroad Canyon Road and other City services + and won't be subject to the whims of out-of- town County bureaucrats.

YES on "DD"< preserves Canyon Lake as an independent city with rapid 9-1-1 emergency response services, local control over land use, and fiscal accountability to local residents.

Join Canyon Lake City Council members, property owners, longtime residents and longtime community members +vote YES on "DD"! We all agree - vote YES on "DD" for the future of Canyon Lake.

By: Michelle Gordon, 14-year resident and former member, CLPOA Board of Directors
Joe Kamashian, Canyon Lake United Executive Committee Member
Travis Montgomery, 10-year resident and former CLPOA Board President and Treasurer
Lou De Young, 26-year resident and active community member
Nancy Carroll, Chair of the Canyon Lake Emergency Preparedness Committee

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