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Palm Springs Utility Users Tax, Measure G (November 2009)
November 3, 2009 ballot for voters in the City of Palm Springs in Riverside County, where it was approved.
- Extended the then-existing utility users tax to more services, including cell and cable phone customers, as well as computer-enabled voice communications such as Skype.
- Lowered the rate of taxation from 5% to 4.5%.
- Replaced the city's $1.13 per month emergency response flat fee with a tax at the same cost.
- These final, certified, results are from the Riverside County elections office.
- The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association charged the city with disguising a tax increase as a tax cut: "Instead of coming clean and saying ‘We're expanding the tax to cell phones,' they're disguising it as a tax reduction."
- Palm Springs resident Bond Shands said that Measure G "is a deceptive ballot measure that ignores impacts, distorts the facts and tramples on taxpayer rights to accurate information and full disclosure." He also says, "he presentation of Measure G is misleading — some might assert fraudulent — for it's a classic bait-and-switch tactic. The measure uses as bait a promise of a half percent decrease in the tax rate. The switch is that voters are not being clearly told they're giving up their right to have unapproved taxes on phones stopped and their right to refunds for previously collected taxes"
- The National Taxpayers Union opposed Measure G because ultimately they said it will raise taxes and expand government. The measure was included in their 2009 General Election Ballot Guide. (dead link)
Path to the ballot
The city council voted 5 to 0 to place the measure on the November ballot on Thursday, July 23, 2009.
- The Desert Sun, "Voters to consider telephone user utility tax," September 30, 2009 (dead link)
- KNews, "Council votes to put cell phone tax on ballot," July 23, 2009
- Desert Sun, "Measure G is deceptive step to validate illegal tax," October 12, 2009 (dead link)
- The Desert Sun, "PS Council votes to place cell phone users tax on ballot," July 23, 2009 (dead link)