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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Smart Voter
Alameda County, CA June 6, 2006 Election
Measure F
Street Paving and Storm Drain Facility Improvement Parcel Tax
City of Albany

2/3 Approval Required

Pass: 3,107 / 71.1% Yes votes ...... 1,262 / 28.9% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Jul 17 11:35am, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (13/13)
Information shown below: Yes/No Meaning | Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Full Text

Do you approve a Street Paving and Storm Drain Facility Improvement Parcel Tax in the amount of $96.00 per Equivalent Residential Unit to raise revenue for city wide street paving and storm drain facility repairs and improvements, as is specifically set forth in the proposed Ordinance that appears in the voter pamphlet?

Meaning of Voting Yes/No
A YES vote on this measure means:
A `yes' vote would approve a parcel tax ordinance to raise revenues for street paving and storm drain improvements.

A NO vote on this measure means:
A `no' vote would result in no change in the level of taxation for street paving and storm drain facility improvements. The parcel tax revenues would be used only for the purposes of improving Albany's storm drain facilities and for street paving, road rehabilitation, and related street improvements.

Impartial Analysis from Albany City Attorney
The City has identified $8.3 million in existing street paving and road rehabilitation project needs. The revenue generated from this parcel tax would allow the City to commence to pave City streets and make needed repairs for which there is no other funding source. Street paving projects funded by existing bond funds will soon be exhausted. Once these funds have been used, the City would have to find other revenue sources. The revenues generated from this parcel tax would provide a source of funds that would allow the City to proceed with needed street improvements that are not covered by currently available revenues.

The City has also identified $4.5 million in short-term storm drain facility repair and improvement needs to reduce existing and potential flood areas. Existing revenues are insufficient to allow the City to make necessary storm drain capital improvements. The activities that would be funded would include reducing flood hazards, thereby reducing potential flood damage to individuals and the City's potential liability.

Albany raises limited revenues for storm drain maintenance from a Storm Drain Clean Water fee that commenced in 1994. The Clean Water fee is used to implement a "Storm Water Management Plan" and to reduce pollution as required by the federal Clean Water Act and the Alameda County Urban Runoff Clean Water Program. The funds are used for maintenance of storm inlets, street sweeping, related maintenance tasks and for minor capital improvements, but are insufficient for significant capital improvements.

The special tax would impose a tax of $96.00 per year for a single-family unit. The tax formula establishes an Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU), so that multiple units of four or more and condominiums would be taxed at 75% of the single family home (ERU) rate. Every 3,000 square feet of commercial or industrial property would be taxed as an ERU. The ordinance contains a cost of living adjustment based on the CPI, up to a maximum of 5% per year. The ordinance sets forth the manner of collection and increases the appropriations limit required by the State constitution to fund the tax. The ordinance also provides for a low-income homeowner exemption.

This measure requires a 2/3 affirmative vote for approval. A copy of the proposed ordinance is available at Albany City Hall, at the City website at, and is presented in full in the voter pamphlet.

Submitted by:
s/Robert Zweben
Albany City Attorney

  News and Analysis

Contra Costa Times

Oakland Tribune
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Arguments For Measure F
Measure F + Parcel Tax for Streets and Storm Drains

Most of our streets and storm drains are nearly 80 years old. Many of our homes have been remodeled or repaired several times during these years. As with our homes, we must continue to maintain our city's infrastructure in order to make Albany an attractive place to live and a safe place to raise our families.

Our storm drains are broken and clogged with roots. Many original pipes are now undersized because of the growth of our city. Streets are flooded during heavy rains. Some of our neighbors have already had rivers of water rushing through their homes.

Many of our streets are in poor condition; they have deep cracks and/or potholes requiring extensive repairs. Other streets have small cracks which need repairs to prevent serious deterioration. Funding for street paving from four years ago has been well spent but is nearly exhausted.

Measure F will provide approximately $672,000 each year to fund these major street and storm drain repairs over the next several years and fund effective maintenance to prevent significant deterioration in the future. A reasonable investment now will avoid much larger repair costs in the future. Under Measure F each homeowner will pay $96 per year ($.25 per day) and condominium owners, $72 per year.

Passage of Measure F makes Albany eligible for matching grants. We cannot afford to pass up these grant funds and let them go to other cities.

Albany continues to suffer from the loss of revenues by State raids on local revenues. We must have a dependable source of funds to maintain our infrastructure and protect our quality of life. Keep Albany a safe and attractive place to live and raise a family. VOTE YES FOR MEASURE F.

s/Farid Javandel
Vice Mayor
s/Allan Maris
s/Diane Akers
Traffic & Safety
s/Doug Donaldson
Planning and Zoning Commissioner
s/Peggy Thomsen

(No arguments against Measure F were submitted)

Full Text of Measure F


Section 1: Chapter 4-10 et seq., entitled "Albany Street Paving and Storm Drain Facility Improvement Tax" is hereby enacted and shall read as follows:
This section 4-10 may be cited as the "City of Albany Street Paving and Storm Drain Facility Improvement Tax."
4-10.2 Necessity, Authority, and Purpose
a. The City Council (the "Council") of the City of Albany (the "City") hereby determines as follows:

(i) that the cost to maintain streets and storm drains throughout the City at the level required to provide for the health, safety, and general welfare of the residents of the City exceeds the amount of revenues generated from other sources;
(ii) that additional revenues or sources of revenue are needed to fund necessary improvements such as the repair and rehabilitation of streets and storm drains;
(iv) that the levy of a city-wide special tax as hereinafter provided is necessary to fund the foregoing municipal improvements and services.

b. This Ordinance was approved by the voters of the City at the consolidated state election held on June 6, 2006 by the following vote:
Yes: ______No: ____ .
Accordingly, the City of Albany Street Paving and Storm Drain Facility Improvement Tax (the "Tax") is levied under this Chapter pursuant to the City's Charter, Section 37100.5 of the California Government Code, and other applicable laws. Under the Charter, it is hereby expressly provided that, as an exercise of its municipal affairs powers, the City shall be authorized to use all or a portion of the Tax allocated for capital improvements to pay installments of principal and interest on leases or similar instruments for the purposes of providing financing for any capital improvements hereunder.

4-10.3 Tax Levied
The Tax not exceeding the maximum amounts set forth in this section 4-10.3 is hereby levied, commencing in the fiscal year 2006-2007, on all taxable properties, improved or unimproved, within the boundaries of the City at the maximum flat rate of ninety six dollars ($96.00) per Single Family Equivalent Residential Unit ("ERU"). For the purposes of defining an Equivalent Residential Unit, the following categories are established:
a) Single family residential (1);
b) Multi-family residential unit (.75 );
c) Condominium ( .75 );
d) Non-residential: For non-residential parcels the minimum tax rate shall be equal to one ERU ($96.00) for every parcel of 3000 square feet or less. The ERU for non-residential parcels over 3000 square feet will be based on parcel square footage and by land use category as follows:

Land Use Category Area (ERU)
Vacant Land at 1/2 the developed rate
Example: Assessment calculation for a commercial parcel with an area of 4000 Sq.Ft.:
4000 SF / 3000 SF = 1.25 ERU
1.25 ERU * ($96) = $120.00

For purposes of this Chapter, "taxable" properties are those not owned by the City, the State of California, any other public district or agency of the State or the United States of America. "Improved" properties are those other than those devoid of any structure as of June 1 of any fiscal year. "Vacant" properties are those which are unimproved, but shall not include unimproved parcels which are dedicated as open space or parklands. The Tax shall not exceed the maximum amounts set forth in this section 4-10.3, except that the Tax may be increased annually by the annual percent increase for the prior calendar year, if any, in the All Urban Consumer All Items Consumer Price Index (CPI-U, 1982 + 1984 = 100) for San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, California. For the purposes specified in section 4-10.4 below, the Tax shall be levied so long as it is necessary to pay for any financing of capital improvements, and so long as necessary for services as specified in section 4-10.4. It is further provided that in no event shall the tax rate adjustment imposed hereby exceed, on an annual basis, five percent (5%) of the tax rates imposed by the City of Albany during the immediately preceding fiscal year.

4-10.4 Purposes and Uses of Tax
The proceeds of the Tax shall be deposited in a special fund, maintained by the City, which proceeds, together with any interest and penalties thereon, collected each fiscal year (collectively, the "Tax Proceeds"), shall be used for the repair, rehabilitation, and other improvements needed for streets and storm drains.

4-10.5 Exemptions
The tax imposed by this chapter shall be subject to the exemptions set forth in this section.

a. Low-Income Homeowner Exemption. Exempt from this tax are owners of single-family residential units in which they reside whose combined family income, from all sources for the previous calendar year, is at or below the income level qualifying as "very low-income" for a family of such size under Section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937 [42 U.S.C.A. Sections 1437 et seq.], for such year. The application process will be in the form of self-certification under penalty of perjury. Owners must apply for the exemption provided for in this section annually by petition to the Director of Finance and Administrative Services (the "Finance Director") of the City of Albany in the manner and at the time set forth by the Finance Director. Such petitions shall be on forms provided by the Finance Director and shall provide such information as the Finance Director may require. If the Finance Director determines the need to audit an application, the Director of Finance and Administrative Services may require additional information, including, but not limited to, federal income tax returns and W-2 forms of owner-occupants eligible for this exemption.

4-10.6 Computation and Collection of Tax
The City's Director of Finance and Administrative Services (the "Finance Director") or his/her designee or employee is hereby authorized and directed each fiscal year, commencing with the fiscal year 2006-2007, to determine the Tax amount to be levied for the next ensuing fiscal year for each taxable parcel of real property within the City, in the manner and as provided in Section 4-10.3. The Finance Director is hereby authorized and directed to provide all necessary information to the auditor/tax collector of the County of Alameda to effect proper billing and collection of the Tax, so that the installments of the Tax shall be included on the secured property tax roll of the County of Alameda. Unless otherwise required by the Council, no Council action shall be required to authorize the annual collection of the Tax as herein provided.

4-10.7 Accountability
Pursuant to Sections 50075.1 and 50075.3 of the California Government Code, the specific purposes of the Tax and the requirement that the Tax Proceeds be applied to such purposes and the establishment of a special fund for the Tax Proceeds are as set forth in section 4-10.4. So long as the Tax is collected hereunder, commencing not later than July 1, 2007, the Finance Director is hereby authorized and directed to cause to be prepared and filed with the Council a report that shows the amount of Tax collected and expended and the status of any projects funded with the Tax Proceeds. For purposes of this section 4-10.7, the Finance Director is authorized to retain such consultants, accountants or agents as may be necessary or convenient to accomplish the foregoing.

4-10.8 Examination of Books and Records and Annual Audit
The Finance Director or his/her designee or employee or agent, is hereby authorized and directed to examine assessment rolls, property tax records, records of the Alameda County Recorder and any other records of the County of Alameda deemed necessary in order to determine ownership of parcels and computation of the Tax. A certified public accounting firm retained by the City will perform an annual audit to assure accountability of the proper disbursement of these tax proceeds in accordance with the objectives stated herein.

4-10.9 Property Tax
This special tax is a property tax and qualified property owners and renters shall be entitled to the benefits of the Gonsalves-Deukmejian-Petris Senior Citizen's Property Tax Assistance Law (California Revenue and Taxation Code Section 20501 et seq.) and the Senior Citizens and Disabled Property Tax Postponement Law (California Revenue and Taxation Code Section 20581 et seq.), as provided by law.

4-10.10 Collection of Tax: Interest and Penalties. The Tax shall be collected in the same manner as ordinary ad valorem taxes are collected and shall have the same lien priority, and be subject to the same penalties and the same procedure and sale in cases of delinquency as provided for ad valorem taxes collected by the County of Alameda; provided, however, that the Council may provide for other appropriate methods of collection of the Tax by appropriate resolution(s) of the Council.

4-10.11 Collection of Unpaid Taxes.
The amount of the Tax, any penalty, and any interest imposed under the provisions of this Chapter shall be deemed a debt to the City. Any person owing money under the provisions of this Chapter shall be personally liable to an action brought in the name of the City, at its option, for the recovery for such amount.

4-10.12 Refund of Tax, Penalty, or Interest Paid More Than Once; or Erroneously or Illegally Collected.
When the amount of the Tax, any penalty, or any interest has been paid more than once, or has been erroneously or illegally collected or received by the City under this section it may be refunded provided a verified claim in writing therefore, stating the specific ground upon which claim is founded, is filed with the Director within one (1) year from the date of payment. If the claim is approved by the Finance Director, the excess amount collected or paid may be refunded or may be credited against any amounts then due and payable from the person from whom it was collected or by whom paid, and the balance may be refunded to such person, his/her administrators or executors.

4-10.13 Savings Clause.
The provisions of this section shall not apply to any person, or to any property as to whom or which it is beyond the power of the City to impose the tax herein provided. If any provision, sentence, clause, section or part of this section is found to be unconstitutional, illegal or invalid, such unconstitutionality, illegality or invalidity shall affect only such provision, sentence, clause, section or part of this section and shall not affect or impair any of the remaining provisions, sentences, clauses, sections or parts of this section. It is hereby declared to be the intention of the City that this section would have been adopted had such unconstitutional, illegal or invalid provision, sentence, clause, section or part thereof not been included herein.

4-10.14 Regulations.
The Council is hereby authorized to promulgate such regulations as it shall deem necessary in order to implement the provision of this section, including implementing this section which is hereby codified in Chapter IV, Section 4-10 et seq. of the Albany Municipal Code or as otherwise directed by the Albany City Clerk.

4-10.15 Increase Appropriations Limit.
Pursuant to California Constitution Article XIIIB, the appropriation limit for the City of Albany is hereby increased by the aggregate sum authorized to be levied by this Tax for fiscal year 2006/07 and each year thereafter.

4-10.16 Effective Date.
This ordinance relates to the levying and collecting of the Tax by the City and shall be in full force and effect ten (10) days after the certification by the Council of the election returns indicating passage of the ordinance by two-thirds of the voters casting votes in the election.

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