Keyes Community Services District parcel tax, Measure P (June 2008)
To pass, it needed a 2/3 majority. It proposed a $20 parcel tax for three years, followed by an increase after that to a $25 parcel tax for each parcel. The money would have gone toward street lighting services.
In June 2009, it was discovered that although the parcel tax measure was defeated, the district went ahead and assessed a higher tax as if the proposal had been approved.
Rosemary Winter, secretary to the board of directors of the Keyes Community Services District, explained that the district went ahead and imposed the tax, even though it lost, because the district thought it only needed a simple majority vote to pass. "We were under the impression it was 50 (percent) plus 1", she told a local newspaper.
As of July 2009, the district had assessed taxes of about $18,000 over what it was legally entitled to charge. The district started charging at the higher, illegal, rate in January 2009. Of the $18,000 it has billed at the disallowed higher rate, about $10,000 has been paid.
Jeff Reed discovered the error in June 2009. He is a member of the Keyes Municipal Advisory Council who helped campaign for Measure P. When he realized what had happened, he called Stanislaus County Supervisor Vito Chiesa.
Chiesa encouraged the members of the district's board to call a special meeting on June 17. At the meeting, he urged them to inform ratepayers about the mistake. However, the board tabled the discussion and took no action.
Chiesa said, "I believe they want to do the right thing. It's hard for me to say why they haven't dealt with it yet."
- These final, certified, election results are from the Stanislaus County elections office.
Henry Benavides, Davie Landers, Robert Taylor, Casey Chadwick and Harinder Grewal were on the board of the Keyes Community Services District in 2008. Board members are paid $100 per month.
According to the U.S. Census, in 2000, Keyes had 4,757 residents and 1,471 homes.
- Text of Measure P (page 6 of sample ballot)
- California City Finance analysis of June 3, 2008 local ballot measures