City of Pleasant Hill Utility Users Tax, Measure T (November 2010)

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A City of Pleasant Hill Utility Users Tax, Measure T was on the November 2, 2010 ballot for voters in the City of Pleasant Hill in Contra Costa County.[1] It was defeated.

Measure T, if voters had approved it, would have increased the taxes paid by residents of Pleasant Hill in two ways:

  • It would have raised the utility tax from 1% to 1.5%.
  • It would have also applied that tax to additional services, including landline and cell phone service, cable, electricity, gas, water and sewer bills.

The utility tax in effect before the Measure T vote generated about $189,000 per year in revenues for the city. If Measure T had passed, the overall revenue generated by the city's newly expanded and increased utility taxation would have gone to about $1.2 million.[1]

Election results

Measure T
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No6,67256.02%
Yes 5,237 43.98%
These final, certified results are from the Contra Costa County elections office.

Text of measure

The question on the ballot:

This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.

To protect the quality of life in Pleasant Hill, provide stable funding the State cannot take away, and minimize cuts to general city services including rapid emergency response, police/neighborhood patrols, repairing potholes/roads and maintaining library hours, shall an ordinance be adopted expanding the City of Pleasant Hill’s existing utility users tax to additional utilities (described in the ballot pamphlet), capping the rate at 1.5%, providing specified exemptions/energy efficiency incentives and requiring that funds remain local?

Support

Supporters

Tim Flaherty supported Measure T. He served on the city's planning and civic action commissions.

Arguments in favor

Flaherty said, "The city is losing money. We're in the red for the next two budget years. (The city) is doing everything as far as I can tell to adjust costs. I think the opposition is saying it's not a good time. Well then, when is a good time? When we have to close City Hall for two days a week or furlough employees? Is that when we go forward and ask?"[1]

Donors

From January 1-September 30, 2010, the "Yes on Measure T" campaign committee received donations totalling $10,099. Donors included:

  • Allied Waste Services: $5,000
  • The Professional and Confidential Employees Association: $2,500.
  • he MacDonald Family Trust: $2,500 to the campaign.
  • Kelly Calhoun, economic development manager for Pleasant Hill: $99.[2]

Opposition

"No on Measure T" campaign logo

Opponents

Kevin Gregory opposed Measure T.

Other opponents of Measure T included the Pleasant Hill Taxpayers Association and Pleasant Hill Citizens for Responsible Growth.[1]

Arguments against

Gregory said, "For the city to come and in the middle of this ask to raise taxes people pay when they're trying to pay their mortgage, stay afloat and keep a job is the wrong thing to do. It seems to me that the city hasn't gone far enough to see how they can cut their own expenses before asking everyone else to pony up."[1]

Measure T opponents pointed to government employee salaries and benefits as being very generous, especially the city's contributions to retirement funds for city workers. In 2009, Pleasant Hill paid $840,000 to cover employees' CalPERS contributions.[1]

See also

External links

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References