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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
Ballot and voting information for Alameda County.
This is an archive of a past election.

Infrastructure Tax

Local
November 8, 2016California General Election

City of Newark
Measure GG - Majority Approval Required

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Election Results

Passed

9,373 votes yes (61%)

5,993 votes no (39%)

  • 100% of precincts reporting (21/21).

To upgrade City of Newark facilities and services, including replacing the seismically unsafe police operations/emergency operations center to survive an earthquake; providing updated crime-fighting technology; replacing aging library/city facilities with buildings meeting safety codes; providing disabled access and senior/teen/children 's facilities; and other facilities and services; shall the City of Newark enact a one-half cent sales tax, providing $3,500,000 annually, for 25 years, with annual audits, independent citizens' oversight, and all funds spent locally?

Background

F.3 Adoption of a resolution placing a local one-half cent sales tax increase on the November 8, 2016 Election Ballot for voter consideration and related election procedures and consideration of the Ballot Measure language and participation in

Ballot Arguments — from City Manager Becker.                                    (RESOLUTION)

Background/Discussion — On May 28, 2015, the City Council approved a contract with Group 4 Architecture to study the potential replacement of the library building, police operations facility, Council chambers, and City administrative offices. This study analyzed and documented: a program of uses; a space needs assessment both existing and future; an alternative site analysis process and the identification of a preferred site; a conceptual Civic Center site plan; building massing diagrams and strategies; a project cost model and schedule, and an assessment of funding sources and financing options. Public and stakeholder input was a key part of the study process. There were two community meetings and numerous stakeholder interviews. The effort also included three City Council work sessions with significant public comment.

On June 23, 2016, Group 4 Architecture presented their fmal report of the Civic Center Feasibility Study to the City Council. The study recommends the replacement of the police operations facility; City administration building, and library building on the existing site. In order to meet existing and future space needs and to enable modern efficient operations, the study recommends that the buildings should be sized at 24,250 square feet for the Police Department, 23,000 square feet for the City Administration Building, and 26,000 square feet for the Library Building.

The Study also recommends that the co-location of the Newark Unified School District (NUSD) Administrative Offices should be considered in the future detailed design process. Group 4 Architecture, in consultation with NUSD, determined that 13,350 square feet of space would be needed. The District's dedicated space would be paid for and owned by NUSD and allow for shared use of Council/Board chambers, and meeting/training facilities.

The Study estimates that the total cost for the construction of these facilities (excluding the NUSD Administration Offices) will be $64 million dollars. The consultant evaluated a number of potential funding sources for the construction of the facilities including issuing a General Obligation Bond, issuing a Special Tax Bond, a Transient Occupancy Tax increase, and a one-half cent sales tax increase. The consultant concluded that a one-half cent local sales tax or a General Obligation Bond could raise the necessary funding for the construction of the facilities.

The Study recommends that the City proceed with detailed planning for a new Civic Center that can provide seismically safe, energy efficient, accessible, and cost-effective facilities to provide the citizens of Newark with needed public safety, administrative, cultural and educational services. After Council discussion and public comment, the Council voted unanimously to accept the Newark Civic Center Feasibility Study Final Report.

Report                                                                                                                                       Thursday

City Council Meeting                                                                                                       July 14, 2016

F.3


                                                                                                                               Thursday

City Council Meeting                                                                                                            July 14, 2016

F.3


RESOLUTION NO. 10,535

 
— http://www.ci.newark.ca.us/departments/city-managers-office/november-8-election/

Impartial analysis / Proposal

City Attorney's Impartial Analysis of Measure GG

The City Council of the City of Newark has placed Measure GG on the ballot to ask the City's voters to approve a one-half of one percent (0.5%) transactions and use tax for 25 years. The proposed tax would add a half a penny to the price of an item purchased in Newark that costs a dollar (if the item is normally subject to sales tax).

Because Measure GG does not limit the use of tax revenue, it is a "general tax" and not a "special tax" that restricts the funds to specific purposes. Therefore, the City may use the funds for any legitimate governmental purpose. The ballot question approved by the City Council identifies priorities for use of the revenue from the tax: "facilities and services, including replacing the seismically unsafe police operations/emergency operations center to survive an earthquake; providing updated crime-fighting technology; replacing aging library/city facilities," among other things.

The tax would terminate automatically 25 years after collection begins, unless extended by the voters.

The Measure requires the City's independent auditors to annually prepare a publicly available report on the revenue and expenditure of the tax. Additionally, it requires the creation of a five-member independent committee to review expenditures of tax revenue.

The proposed measure is a "transactions and use tax." If approved, the tax would be levied on many, but not all, of the same purchases as the existing sales tax. Retailers and other businesses would collect the tax at the time of sale and remit the funds to the Board of Equalization, which administers the tax and transmits the funds to the City. The funds would be deposited into the City's General Fund and could not be taken away by the State. The funds could be used for any legitimate governmental purpose, including the projects identified in the ballot question.

Currently, the sales tax in Newark is 9.5% of the purchase price and will be reduced to 9.25% starting January 1, 2017. The City currently receives 1% to pay for general municipal services. If Measure GG is approved, the total sales tax rate for most items purchased in Newark would be 9.75% and the City would receive 1.5%.

A "Yes" vote is a vote to approve a half-cent transactions and use tax for 25 years. A "No" vote is a vote against the tax. Measure GG would be approved if it receives a simple majority of "Yes" votes.


The above statement is an impartial analysis of Measure GG. The full text of the measure and ordinance is printed in the Voter Information Pamphlet and is available on the City of Newark website at www.newark.org

DATED: August 24, 2016

s/David J. Be 'sun, City Attorney

 

— http://www.ci.newark.ca.us/departments/city-managers-office/november-8-election/

Financial effect

City Attorney's Impartial Analysis of Measure GG

The City Council of the City of Newark has placed Measure GG on the ballot to ask the City's voters to approve a one-half of one percent (0.5%) transactions and use tax for 25 years. The proposed tax would add a half a penny to the price of an item purchased in Newark that costs a dollar (if the item is normally subject to sales tax).

Because Measure GG does not limit the use of tax revenue, it is a "general tax" and not a "special tax" that restricts the funds to specific purposes. Therefore, the City may use the funds for any legitimate governmental purpose. The ballot question approved by the City Council identifies priorities for use of the revenue from the tax: "facilities and services, including replacing the seismically unsafe police operations/emergency operations center to survive an earthquake; providing updated crime-fighting technology; replacing aging library/city facilities," among other things.

The tax would terminate automatically 25 years after collection begins, unless extended by the voters.

The Measure requires the City's independent auditors to annually prepare a publicly available report on the revenue and expenditure of the tax. Additionally, it requires the creation of a five-member independent committee to review expenditures of tax revenue.

The proposed measure is a "transactions and use tax." If approved, the tax would be levied on many, but not all, of the same purchases as the existing sales tax. Retailers and other businesses would collect the tax at the time of sale and remit the funds to the Board of Equalization, which administers the tax and transmits the funds to the City. The funds would be deposited into the City's General Fund and could not be taken away by the State. The funds could be used for any legitimate governmental purpose, including the projects identified in the ballot question.

Currently, the sales tax in Newark is 9.5% of the purchase price and will be reduced to 9.25% starting January 1, 2017. The City currently receives 1% to pay for general municipal services. If Measure GG is approved, the total sales tax rate for most items purchased in Newark would be 9.75% and the City would receive 1.5%.

A "Yes" vote is a vote to approve a half-cent transactions and use tax for 25 years. A "No" vote is a vote against the tax. Measure GG would be approved if it receives a simple majority of "Yes" votes.


The above statement is an impartial analysis of Measure GG. The full text of the measure and ordinance is printed in the Voter Information Pamphlet and is available on the City of Newark website at www.newark.org.

 

DATED: August 24, 2016

s/David J. Be 'sun, City Attorney

 

— http://www.ci.newark.ca.us/departments/city-managers-office/november-8-election/

YES vote means

A "Yes" vote is a vote to approve a half-cent transactions and use tax for 25 years.

NO vote means

A "No" vote is a vote against the tax. 

Arguments FOR

ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF MEASURE GG

Vote YES on GG- Help keep Newark safe and vibrant. An independent consultant found the Police, City Administration and Library buildings lack seismic upgrades, rendering the Police building inoperable after a major earthquake and hobbling disaster response to Newark residents. The current police station needs technological and operational upgrades to improve safety, response time and crime prevention programs. Both the Library and Police/City Administration buildings were built before the broad use of modern technology and computers. The infrastructure to support the technological world we live in today is absent from these structures.

The Police/Administration building was built more than 50 years ago when the Newark population was 24,000. Since then the Newark population has doubled and the workforce has increased to the point where the buildings are not functional. The Library was built more than 34 years ago with the premise of serving a smaller population. The small size and inefficiency of the Library severely impacts its ability to provide services and programs to children and adult users. Currently, space cannot be dedicated for use by seniors, teens and children. Retrofitting or expanding the existing structures has been shown to be more costly than new buildings.

It is critical these buildings be replaced as we continue into the 215f century. While we have consistently maintained a balanced budget and demonstrated sound fiscal stewardship, there are no existing funds to finance replacement of these buildings. This measure asks voters to approve a one-half percent sales tax increase to finance modern, safe and efficient buildings to be built on the existing Civic Center site. Construction could begin in 2018. Funding for enhanced neighborhood police patrols, crime prevention, anti-drug and gang prevention programs and improved 9-1-1 response would also be provided. Please support these critical improvements - Vote YES on GG!

s/ALAN L. NAGY
Mayor, City of Newark

s/PATRICIA L. DANIELSON
Washington Hospital Board Member

s/DAVID W. SMITH

Mayor Emeritus, City of Newark

s/RICK ARELLANO

Ohlone College Professor Emeritus

s/NANCY THOMAS

 

 

Newark Unified School District, Board Member

— http://www.ci.newark.ca.us/departments/city-managers-office/november-8-election/

Arguments AGAINST

ARGUMENT AGAINST MEASURE GG

We concede the City Administration building needs replacement and the library needs more functionality. However, the government's proposed plan is a bad deal for Newark residents.

Here is why:

Raising the sales tax for twenty-five years to 10% makes Newark one of the most expensive cities in California. Of California's 2,187 cities, only 9 pay such a high sales tax. This can harm our residents and local businesses as residents may drive to Fremont or Milpitas to avoid Newark's higher sales tax.

The government's consultants stated they need $64 million for the new buildings. However, the government is asking us for $87 million. Including interest, the total cost of the measure is $133 million. The additional funds allow the government to use the funds without restriction.

The government has failed to impartially analyze and present creative cost-effective alternatives like an independent evaluation for renovating the library, phased construction, staggered funding, and temporarily leasing local office space. Instead, from the start, new buildings have been the thrust for the project ensuring affordable alternatives were generally ignored.

Designed by a protégé of Frank Lloyd Wright, our library has historical significance. The city's plan calls for it to be vacated. It deserves renovation, not waiting until demolition is the only option.

Despite having multiple decades to save and prepare for new administration buildings, the government has minimal savings for such a project. Send a message to the city that saving up to maintain and upgrade our civic buildings should be the current priority. When the current utility users tax has built up the financial reserve, then the government can consider constructing new buildings. Meanwhile, maintaining the buildings we have, and temporarily renting needed space is the financially responsible option.

Vote "No" on Measure GG. It is the wrong solution for our city.

s/RICARDO CORTE
s/MARTIN DOYLE

— http://www.ci.newark.ca.us/departments/city-managers-office/november-8-election/

Replies to Arguments FOR

REBUTTAL TO ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF
MEASURE GG

Measure GG is a flawed proposal for Newark residents.

First, "pork dollars" have been added to the Measure. The city's consultants said the new buildings cost $62 million. Yet, Measure GG asks for $87 million...the additional $25 million is to be spent on the same city "needs" that our existing Utility Tax is already supposed to cover.

Additionally, the government's proposal calls for a new library on Newark Boulevard, one of Newark's busier streets. The current location next to a park is far safer for families.

The tax is a regressive tax, which means it disproportionately hurts the nearly 10% of our population who are below the poverty line.

We propose:

1.              A cost analysis of 'new construction versus remodeling'
be conducted and presented, with real contractor estimates, not just extrapolations. This can be done without spending
money on consultants.

2.              An architectural plan that keeps the library near the park and restores our historically significant library.

3.              A financing plan that has no "pork dollars" and lessens the burden on those below the poverty line and everyone else.

4.              A smaller capital spending plan where raised funds only be used for our library, police and city buildings.

5.              A budgetary plan that reflects fiscal restraint, by budgeting for what Newark can afford without new taxes.

We concede our city hall is in need of repairs and/or replacement and that our library is functionally lacking. But residents deserve much better than Measure GG. To read more, visit "bit.do/notopork". Vote No!

 

s/RICARDO CORTE
s/MARI IN DOYLE

— http://www.ci.newark.ca.us/departments/city-managers-office/november-8-election/

Replies to Arguments AGAINST

REBUTTAL TO ARGUMENT AGAINST
MEASURE GG

The opponents concede that these buildings should be replaced — but offer no real solution — just opinion that has no basis in fact. The fact is that the Civic Center needs to be replaced urgently to protect the safety of Newark residents. Half a percent is a very small increase in the sales tax ($100 in taxable sales would cost only 50 cents more). This is much preferable to property tax based bonds where the costs could be significantly higher. Also we benefit from the many out of town shoppers that are attracted to Newark. Numerous area cities have the same sales tax and their sales are vibrant and gam annually.

The ballot measure indicates how the funds would be spent:

·  Build expanded and seismically safe Police/ Administration building

·  Build a new Library

·  Support enhanced neighborhood police patrols, crime prevention, anti-drug and gang prevention programs

A citizen's oversight committee will review all spending.

The alternatives the opponents mentioned were studied by an independent consultant and found to cause danuerons delay and be much more costly than this measure. The study is available on the City website: www.newark.org.

Contrary to what the opponents claim, the antiquated library building was deemed to have no historical significance and this Council hopes to re-purpose this building.

While we have just weathered a 10 year recession, we have always maintained a balanced budget and demonstrated sound fiscal stewardship. Providing safe, modern, and efficient buildings to serve our residents depends on you. Please VOTE YES ON GG!

s/ALAN L. NAGY
Mayor, City of Newark

s/PATRICIA L. DANIELSON
Washington Hospital Board Member

s/DAVID W. SMITH

Mayor Emeritus, City of Newark

s/RICK ARELLANO

Ohlone College Professor Emeritus

s/NANCY THOMAS

 

Newark Unified School District, Board Member

— http://www.ci.newark.ca.us/departments/city-managers-office/november-8-election/
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