City of Perris parcel tax, Measure C (November 2009)
If Measure C had been approved, it would have charged every owner of a single-family home in Perris $135.88 a year. Owners of nonresidential parcels could have paid a maximum of $543 for every four-acre area. The tax would have been permanent and the Perris City Council would have been able to increase it by 2% every year.
City officials estimated the tax, if approved, would have generated an extra $2 million each year for the city.
- These final, certified, results are from the Riverside County elections office.
- Michael Weir and Michael Vargas, public safety commissioners in Perris, said that Measure C was misleading because it used the phrase "public safety tax" even though the tax, according to the official language of the tax resolution, was not earmarked for public safety and instead would have gone into the city's general fund where the city council could spend the money on any program.
- The Press-Enterprise editorialized against Measures C and D. In an editorial that urged a "no" vote, they wrote, " A property tax hike is also a baffling choice for an area that has seen widespread foreclosures. Riverside County had one foreclosure filing for every 74 homes in August, the second-highest rate of any metropolitan area in the nation. Adding to the cost of owning a home makes little sense right now. Even more troubling, Measure C offers a permanent answer to a temporary crisis. The economy will eventually turn around, but the proposed parcel tax would stay in place -- with the assessment amount climbing by 2 percent each year. So just why should closing budget holes for the next three or four years require a tax hike that will remain long after the downturn ends?"
- Residents argued, "It's hard to understand how the Perris City Council can support this tax on property when a large number of Perris residents are out of work and numerous homes are in foreclosure" and "It charges the same amount for a humble dwelling as it does for a luxury home."
City budget woes
Sales and property taxes collected in Perris declined 18% from fiscal year 2008-09 to 2009-10. Politicians in Perris therefore had to make cuts in city spending. They laid off five temporary workers, cut some city employee hours and closed City Hall on Fridays.
The city had $15 million in reserves at the time of the vote on Measure C. This amount could have covered the budget's shortfall for three years.
- Press Enterprise, "Perris debates new tax," September 26, 2009
- Press Enterprise, "Perris voters reject parcel tax," November 3, 2009
- Press Enterprise, "Perris voters to consider parcel tax," October 31, 2009
- Press Enterprise, "No on C, D," September 29, 2009
- Press Enterprise, "The P-E endorses," October 3, 2009
- Press Enterprise, "Reject Parcel Tax," October 12, 2009