Pacific Grove Library parcel tax, Measure Q (November 2010)
The parcel tax, if it had been approved, would have levied $90 for each land parcel and $45 for each rental unit in an apartment building. The tax would have been in effect for 10 years, adding about $600,000 to the library's annual operating budget. At the time of the vote, the library was receiving about $420,000/year from the city's general operating budget. If Measure Q had passed, the library's annual budget would have doubled.
Pacific Grove voters narrowly rejected Measure J on the November 3, 2009 ballot. The November 2010 ballot measure is worded differently from 2009's Measure J. Measure Q was worded to ensure that any funds raised from the tax, if it had passed, would only go to support the library and could not be transferred to support other city operations.
In spite of the tweaks to Measure Q to address concerns some voters had about the earlier Measure J, Measure Q failed by a wider margin.
Results are from the Monterey County elections division as of November 23, 2010.
A group called the "Citizens Steering Committee for the Pacific Grove Public Library" played a key role in supporting the November 2010 vote for a parcel tax for the library.
A group called "Yes on Q" was established once Measure Q was on the ballot. Members included Judy Archibald, Marilynn Gustafson, Greta Miller and Susan Steele.
The Monterey County Herald editorial board endorsed a "yes" vote on Measure Q, saying, "Though we know of no one who enjoys tax increases, we believe most P.G. residents should have no problem with a very modest tax increase if it means protecting and strengthening a community treasure."
Pacific Grove residents Jim and Lee Willoughby formed a group to oppose Measure Q. The view of this group was that it is preferable if the Pacific Grove library joins the Monterey County Free Libraries system to ensure stable funding for operations.
Text of measure
The question on the ballot:
|Measure Q: "Shall a new Chapter 6.70 be added to the Pacific Grove Municipal Code to impose a tax at the rat of $90.00 per year for all Owners of Parcels in the City of Pacific Grove as well as $45.00 per year per unit for multi-Common Household units, in order to create a dedicated and restricted revenue source solely to provide, maintain, and improve core library services for the Pacific Grove public Library in the City of Pacific Grove such?"|
Path to the ballot
The measure was voted onto the ballot in a unanimous vote of the Pacific Grove City Council.
At the meeting where the city council approved placing the measure on the November ballot, city council member Lisa Bennett held aloft a quarter, indicating that each property owner in the city will only be taxed at the rate of one quarter a day if the measure passes.
City council member Robert Huitt rebuked Bennett for this gesture. Huitt said that times are tough and it is not appropriate for a city politician to imply that some sacrifices are so small that they are essentially negligible. He said that residents of the city are routinely giving up small luxuries in order to make ends meet in today's tough economic climate and "We should acknowledge that we're asking people to make a sacrifice."
- Parcel tax elections in California
- City of Pacific Grove library parcel tax, Measure J (November 2009)
- Measure Q ballot text
- Website of the Pacific Grove Library
- Pacific Grove Library blog
- Pacific Grove weighs tax, pension measures
- Monterey County Herald, "P.G. to vote on library tax", May 20, 2010
- Monterey Herald, "Pacific Grove approves $14.8 million budget", June 17, 2010
- KCBA, "Pacific Grove Parcel Tax Fails... Again", November 3, 2010
- Monterey Herald, "Pacific Grove Measure Q: Groups discuss pros, cons of library tax", October 6, 2010
- Monterey Herald, "Pacific Grove library parcel tax backers get ready for November vote", July 1, 2010
- Monterey Herald, "Groups square off over Pacific Grove library parcel tax", August 17, 2010
- Monterey County Herald, "The Herald Recommends: Measure Q deserves sweeping support", October 26, 2010
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- Monterey Herald, "Pacific Grove residents to vote on parcel tax to fun library", June 24, 2010