City of Hesperia parcel tax, Measure F (November 2011)

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A City of Hesperia parcel tax, Measure F ballot question was on the November 8, 2011 ballot for voters in the City of Hesperia in San Bernardino County, where it was overwhelmingly defeated.[1]

If Measure F had been approved, property owners in Hesperia would have had to pay $85 per parcel per year to the city, with the proceeds of the tax going to support the Hesperia Fire District.[1] The tax would have been in effect for five years.[2]

A 2/3rds supermajority vote was required for passage.[1]

Election results

Measure F
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No5,76980.74%
Yes 1,376 19.26%
Election results are from the San Bernardino County elections office.

Support

Supporters

The official ballot book arguments in favor of Measure F were signed by:

  • Mike Leonard, mayor of Hesperia
  • Bill Holland, a member of the Hesperia City Council
  • Thurston “Smitty” Smith, a member of the Hesperia City Council

Arguments in favor

The arguments supporting Measure F submitted for the official ballot book said:

  • "Measure F -- the Hesperia Fire Safety Tax -- is the fire department’s plea for help! Over the past three years, the fire district’s major revenue source, property tax, has plummeted by 24 percent, crippling the department’s abilities to continue providing adequate firefighting and paramedic services to citizens."
  • "Measure F will not ever be used to increase wages or benefits for firefighters but simply maintain the current level of staffing we have today: four paramedic ambulances and three paramedic fire engines to cover 74 square miles. To maintain these levels will cost each property owner, at most, $85 per year, which is $7.08 per month or 24 cents per day. Should revenues increase, the city council can lower the amount annually."
  • "Measure F will only last for five years and cannot be renewed or increased without a vote of the people. Should Measure F fail, the city council will have to cut nine firefighter/paramedics on January 1, 2012, leaving fire engines without a paramedic on board to give advanced life support to you, or your family. You will have to wait for an ambulance to arrive before getting lifesaving help."

Donors

Donations to Hesperia Citizens for Public Safety, the committee organized to pass Measure F were made by:

  • The San Bernardino County Professional Firefighters No. 1230110: $20,000.[2]

Opposition

Opponents

The official ballot book arguments opposing Measure F were signed by:

  • Russ Blewett, a member of the Hesperia City Council. He said, "“I signed [a no new taxes] pledge. This is one person who will do exactly what he said he will do."[3]
  • Paul Bosacki, a member of the Hesperia City Council. He said, "This is a three-legged donkey running in the Kentucky Derby. It doesn’t have much of a chance."[3]
  • Al Vogler, the husband of former mayor Rita Vogler

Arguments against

The arguments opposing Measure F submitted for the official ballot book said:

  • "Hesperians need to stop the unnecessary, unfair Measure F fire parcel tax. With unemployment at 18 percent, foreclosed homes, families and businesses struggling, these are severe economic hard times. With the current economy, we can’t afford another tax increase."
  • "Hesperia has 35,211 taxable parcels, taxed at $84 for five years, equals $13.8 million dollars! The amount needed to maintain current fire staffing for five years is $5.5 million."
  • "SB County is staffing its fire stations with two firemen per engine. It is safe and the best service for citizens. Safety is not an issue. A NO vote on Measure F will help ensure that homeowners will not lose their homes. A NO vote will not reduce fire services. We ask that you join with many hardworking, overtaxed Hesperians and VOTE NO on Measure F. Together, let’s send a message that government must live on a fixed budget."

Donors

Donations to the Hesperia Free Press Committee to Oppose Measure F were made by:

  • CHT Investment of Newport Beach: $5,000[2]

The campaign committee of Hesperia City Councilman Russ Blewett also spent money to defeat Measure F.[2]

See also

References