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City of Watsonville Telephone Tax, Measure C (November 2008)

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A City of Watsonville Telephone Tax, Measure C ballot question was on the November 4, 2008 ballot for voters in the City of Watsonville in Santa Cruz County, where it was defeated.

The tax was designed to replace a five-year-old city-imposed fee on phones in homes and businesses for 911 services. The existing fee generated about $415,000 of the city's $1.2 million cost for emergency dispatch.

Election results

Measure C
Defeatedd No5,76052.99%
Yes 5,110 47.01%
These final, certified, election results are from the Santa Cruz County elections office.


Measure C was defeated despite a significant amount of spending to try to get it passed. The "Watsonville United Yes on C" campaign spent over $15,000.

Over $2,000 of the "Yes on C" campaign money came from city officials.

City leaders believed the additional money was needed because they face a bill for a federally mandated but not federally funded upgrade of emergency communications equipment. The upgrade, called narrow-banding, was needed because the increasing use of electronics equipment was squeezing available radio frequencies. The cost of the project, which included changing out equipment in the countywide dispatch center, as well as in individual law enforcement and emergency personnel jurisdictions, was estimated at $16 million to $18 million.

The largest donors to "Yes on C" were:

  • Watsonville Police Officers Association, $1,000.
  • Professional Firefighters Action Committee, $1,000.
  • Pajaro Auto Sales, $1,000.

Ballot question

The question on the ballot:

Measure C: "Shall the City replace the existing 911 Emergency Response Fee now paid by Watsonville residents on City telephone land lines with a general tax on City telephone subscribers of the same amount of $2.05 per month? The tax would reduce future budget cuts and allow the City Council to provide additional funding to public safety including the 911 Emergency Center and other General Fund programs."[1]

See also

External links

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