Oakland Measure BB, Proposed Revision of 2004's Measure Y (November 2010)
Measure BB revises Oakland Parking Lot and Parcel Tax, Measure Y (November 2004) by suspending until 2015 a requirement in Measure Y that the city maintain at least 739 police officers in order to receive funds from Measure Y.
In 2004, Oakland voters approved Measure Y. It provides that Measure Y taxes may not be collected if “the appropriation for staffing of sworn uniformed police officers is at a level lower than the amount necessary to maintain the number of uniformed officers employed by the City for the fiscal year 2003-2004 (739).” In July, 2010, the City laid off 80 police officers, and appropriated a budget for less than 739 officers. Therefore, the City was legally precluded from collecting Measure Y taxes.
Half of Measure Y funds are for violence prevention and fire services; half for community policing services.
Measure BB allows all of Measure Y's funding to stay in place, even if the city has fewer than the number of sworn, uniformed police officers originally defined in Measure Y as the minimum required number to justify the Measure Y funding.
Results are from the Alameda County current election results website, as of November 7, 2010. Vote totals may increase if additional absentee ballots are counted and added to the total.
Impact of Measure BB
Measure BB allows the City of Oakland to fund programs using Measure Y funds that are not allowed under the current language of Measure Y.
Overall tax burden
Measure BB is not itself a tax. Rather, it allows the City of Oakland to continue to assess the Measure Y tax from 2004 even when it has fewer than 739 police officers.
According to Chip Johnson, a columnist at the San Francisco Chronicle, "...if voters approve every tax measure sought by the city and the Oakland Unified School District this November, the average Oakland resident would have to pay an extra $627 a year. That would nearly double the local tax bill to about $1,400 a year."
Text of measure
The question on the ballot:
|Measure BB: To restore community police officer positions and protect and enhance vital public safety services in the City of Oakland, shall the City, at no additional cost to taxpayers, amend the Violence Prevention and Public Safety Act of 2004 (Measure Y) to suspend the requirement that the City appropriate non-Measure Y funding each year to staff the police department at fiscal year 2003-2004 levels?|
None of the Measure BB provisions would affect the Sacks lawsuit.
The Sacks lawsuit was about whether it was appropriate for the city to spend Measure Y dollars training new police officers, which the judge ruled to be permissible. The problem according to the judge was the newly trained officers did not immediately end up going to fill Measure Y positions. Instead the City filled the Measure Y positions with experienced officers and the rookie officers went on patrol as per OPD policy. The net effect was the exact same number of Measure Y officers paid with Measure Y funds.
Measure BB supporters
According to Measure BB supporters:
- Measure BB will support violence prevention programs and the return of community police officers.
- The attention to prevention and community policing from Measure Y has resulted in real reductions in crime. Crime rates have gone down consecutively for three years.
- Over 35 Oakland organizations, unions and elected officials support Measure BB. The list includes: the League of Women Voters, East Bay Express, SF Bay Guardian, East Bay Young Democrats, Oakland Community Organizations, Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan, Former State Senator Don Perata and Councilmember Jean Quan.
- Measure Y Violence Prevention Programs provided close to 65,000 hours of individual services to over 4,000 at-risk youth in one year.
- According to an outside evaluator, Measure Y Violence Prevention programs serve the most at-risk youth in Oakland, reduce the chances they will commit crimes and return to school at rates higher than non-Measure Y participants.
- Five years ago, Oakland had $490 million in General Fund revenues. This year, Oakland has just over $400 million. Given that Police and Fire account for ¾ of the General Fund, with the magnitude of the revenue collapse, the city cannot afford to fund the 739 officers outside of Measure Y.
Measure BB opponents
Opponents of Measure BB argue that one of the main purposes of Measure Y was to expand the size of the police force to an authorized strength of 803 officers. Without the staffing requirements, this main purpose will not be satisfied, as the City would be permitted to continue collecting over $20 million a year, and allow the force to drop to an indeterminate number. Opponents also cite the numerous past violations of Measure Y, the City’s previous failure to actually fill the 63 promised Measure Y positions, and what they see as the overall fiscal mismanagement by City government.
The editorial board of the Oakland Tribune recommends a "no" vote on Measure BB, saying, "Measure BB is not a new tax but a modification of Measure Y. Voters initially approved Measure Y with assurances that the city would maintain a minimum police staffing level. Taxpayers have paid more than $100 million for the so-called public safety tax, yet the size of the police force has dropped nearly 10 percent. This would abolish Measure Y minimum-staffing requirements altogether yet allow the city to continue collecting some $20 million a year in Measure Y taxes. We recommend a no vote."
- Measure Y
- Yes on BB
- Defending Measure Y
- List of Alameda County local ballot measures
- "No on Measure BB" website
- Outreach Workers connect where police cannot
- Summer without Sideshows Celebrated in Oakland
- Rev. Byron Williams says the city of Oakland hasn’t been frank about finances
- Voting to solve Oakland's crime problem
- ↑ San Francisco Chronicle, "Oakland council puts parcel tax on ballot", July 27, 2010
- ↑ San Francisco Chronicle, "Oakland's last-minute tax measures a cop-out", July 30, 2010
- ↑ San Francisco Chronicle, "One Year Later: How will Oakland's fall election impact the city, OPD?", September 23, 2010
- ↑ "Weekly Crime Reports - OPD"
- ↑ "List of Endorsements"
- ↑ "Measure Y Evaluation 2009-10 PowerPoint
- ↑ "Measure Y Evaluation 2009-10 Interim Report"
- ↑ Oakland Tribune, "Oakland Tribune editorial: No on Oakland Measures X, W, BB", September 24, 2010