Santa Cruz City Utility Users Tax, Measure H (November 2010)
Measure H will increase the city's utility tax rate from 7% to 8.5%. It will also expand the number of utility-related services, including telephone technologies, that the tax applies to. This will result in about $1.8 million more in additional taxation each year for the city.
The increased tax rate will go into effect on February 1, 2011.
Election results are from the Santa Cruz County elections division as of November 26, 2010.
The official voter pamphlet arguments in favor of Measure H, and rebutting the arguments against Measure H, were written by:
- June Hoffman, Co-owner, Hoffman’s Bistro and Past President, Downtown Association
- Rick Martinez, Deputy Chief, Santa Cruz Police Department
- Michael Bethke, Neighborhood Advocate
- Neal Coonerty, 3rd District Supervisor, Santa Cruz County
- George “Bud” Winslow, Past President, Seniors Council
- Karen Darling, Retired Innkeeper, Past President, Democratic Women’s Club
- Peggy Dolgenos, Local Technology Business Owner
- Emily Reilly, former Mayor of Santa Cruz
- Jeremy Neuner, Co-founder, NextSpace
The official voter pamphlet arguments opposing Measure H, and rebutting the arguments in favor of Measure H, were written by:
- Bernice Robertson, Community Volunteer, Jefferson Award Recipient
- Sean Patrick Tario, Co-Founder, Santa Cruz Geeks
- Gina Locatelli, Downtown Business Owner, Past President, Boys & Girls Club of Santa Cruz
- Aldo Giacchino, Westside Community Activist, Senior Coaliton
- Tom Walsh, Executive Director
- Kevin Moon, 5th Generation Santa Cruzan, Senior Coalition
- William "Bill" Prouty, Board Member
- Helen Lynch, 34-year Eastside Santa Cruz Resident
- John A. Mancini, Trustee, Santa Cruz Law Library
- Robert Antonio Vallerga, Disabled Senior, USAF Veteran
Jack Dilles, the Finance Director of the City of Santa Cruz, wrote a fiscal impact statement for Measure H. It said:
- "The proposed increase in the City of Santa Cruz Utility Users Tax, if approved by voters, will increase the existing rate by 1.5% (from 7% to 8.5%) and will broaden the tax to apply to situations where there have been changes in technology and laws. The tax will be first charged, and thereafter collected, by communications, electricity, gas, water, sewer, and refuse utilities beginning on February 1, 2011. The tax will be charged and collected on all subsequent utility bills. The tax ordinance will have no retroactive effect and will be applied prospectively commencing on February 1, 2011. The tax increase will produce approximately $700,000 more for the City of Santa Cruz during fiscal year 2010-2011 and approximately $1.8 million more for each year thereafter, less reductions for any exemptions that the City Council of the City of Santa Cruz may establish by resolution for: 1) one or more classes of persons; or 2) one or more classes of utility service otherwise subject to payment of the tax. It is projected that the total tax, including the proposed increase, will amount to approximately $10.2 million per year. Revenues generated could be used by the City of Santa Cruz for any public purpose, but it is intended by the City Council that the tax revenues would be used to preserve the safety and quality of life of the City of Santa Cruz through City services—including law enforcement, fire protection, emergency medical response, park maintenance and youth programs."
Text of measure
The question on the ballot:
|Measure H: To preserve the safety and quality of life of the City of Santa Cruz through City services—including law enforcement, fire protection, emergency medical response, park maintenance and youth programs—and to ensure that all taxpayers are treated fairly, shall the City’s existing utility users tax be broadened to include changes in technology and laws, and increased by 1.5%, while including protections for low-income residents and seniors, and ensuring that all funds remain local?|
- Sample ballot including text of Measure H
- Voter Information Pamphlet for Measure H
- Keep Santa Cruz Safe, a website about Measure H