City of Ventura Sales Tax, Measure A (November 2009)
If Measure A had been approved, it would have increased the city's sales tax by a half-cent, from 8.25% to 8.75%, for four years.
It was estimated that if Measure A had passed, about $8-$10 million a year would have been raised for the City of Ventura in additional sales tax income.
- These final, certified, results are from the Ventura County elections office.
Measure A supporters launched their "Yes on Measure A" campaign on September 26 with a rally in front of the H.P. Wright Library. With Ventura's troubled budget situation, The Wright Library was in danger of closing. The Wright Library is one of three public libraries in Ventura.
Supporters who spoke at the rally included Ventura Mayor Christy Weir and members of San Buenaventura Friends of the Library.
Weir spoke out in favor of Measure A to business and neighborhood groups such as the Rotary Club, a mobile home group, and the Midtown Ventura Community Council.
Other supporters and the reasons they gave for supporting Measure A included:
- Brian Leshon of the Democratic Club of Ventura County, who said, "It’s a bitter pill, but we need to do it. … The state is stealing $4 million a year."
- Jay Panzica, chief financial officer for Ventura, who said, "We’re operating at a lower level right now. The choice would be, ‘Do you like the level we’re at now, or do you want to pay more and get better service?’"
- John Snowling, president of the Police Officers Association, who said the police department has been "...understaffed for a long time. A city our size should have at least 140 officers. All the violent crime we’ve had this year, it’s my opinion you can’t afford to lose any more."
- The editorial board of the Ventura County Reporter. They wrote, "While we are cautious in endorsing this measure because of various questionable policies implemented by the council, such as the 911 fee, we believe that Ventura’s leaders will be accountable and will fund and put forth into action those things the community values so dearly."
- Don Facciano, President of the Ventura County Taxpayers Association, said that the Ventura City Council couldn't be trusted to spend money raised through Measure A the way it said it would spend it. He said, "This spending plan is a non-binding, advisory directive. They (City Council) say they know where they’re going to put it, but it doesn’t mean they can’t change it."
- Bob McCord is a Ventura attorney who was one of four members of an ad-hoc Blue Ribbon Committee appointed by the city to research Measure A. He said, "The problem is if they spend it for the same reasons as over the past five years. What have you done historically to make me have confidence in you in the future?”
- Bob Alviani was also on the ad-hoc Blue Ribbon Committee to study Measure A. He said, "There are people who will vote for this on the mere premise that it will help the Wright Library, but there’s no guarantee it will."
- Clifton Tingstrom, a former mayor of Ventura, who said, "Our main complaint is, the council is not using their heads. You just can’t keep spending and figure when the economy is going down, you lay off the private sector. The ones who create a profit are from the private sector. It’s called capitalism."
Other arguments made against Measure A included:
- Ventura has $172 million in combined investment and uncommitted reserves that it could use to fund emergencies during this time of economic decline.
Ventura's general fund for fiscal year 2009-2010 was $85 million. $11 million was cut and 42 employees were laid off because of budget pressures due to the state-wide economic decline in California.
The question on the ballot:
|Measure A: "Shall Ventura adopt a one-half percent (0.5%) Sales Tax Ordinance to expire automatically in four years, with all money staying local in Ventura, to preserve essential general fund services such as police, fire and emergency response and provide additional funding for other priorities, including street repair, keeping Wright Library open and protecting local beaches from pollution, with a citizen's oversight committee, mandatory audits and quarterly reports to the council on how the money is spent?"|
- Ballot language, Measure A
- Full text of Measure A (dead link)
- City attorney's impartial analysis of Measure A (dead link)
- Arguments in favor of and against Measure A (dead link)
- Rebuttals to arguments in favor of and against Measure A (dead link)
- Measure A election results
- Ventura County Star, "Ventura mayor rallies support for city sales-tax measure," July 30, 2009
- Ventura County Star, "Odds and ends from a blurry-eyed 'activist'," February 3, 2009
- Ventura County Star, "Campaign for half-cent sales tax increase begins," September 27, 2009
- Ventura County Star, "It's time to share the pain," January 31, 2009
- Ventura County Reporter, "Ventura's sales tax measure leaves locals divided over city funding practices," October 15, 2009
- Ventura County Reporter, "Be responsible and vote this Election Day," November 22, 2009
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.