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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.

Allow Expenditure of Proceeds of City TaxesInitiative from the Legislature

Local
November 8, 2016California General Election

City of Berkeley
Measure V1 Initiative from the Legislature - Majority Approval Required

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Election Results

Passed

47,070 votes yes (87.69%)

6,608 votes no (12.31%)

  • 100% of precincts reporting (108/108).

Shall the City's appropriation limit under Article XIIIB of the California Constitution be increased to allow expenditure of the proceeds of City taxes and income from the investment of those taxes for fiscal years 2017 through 2020?

Financial Implications: This measure would not increase taxes or impose a new tax. It would authorize the City to continue to spend the proceeds of already- approved taxes for FY 2017 through 2020.

Impartial analysis / Proposal

This measure was placed on the ballot by the City Council.

This measure would authorize the City to continue to spend the proceeds of various City taxes, including the Parks Maintenance Tax, the Library Relief Tax, the Emergency Medical Services Tax, the Emergency Services for Severely Disabled Persons Tax, the Fire Protection and Emergency Response and Preparedness Tax, and the Sugar Sweetened Beverage Products Tax, all of which were previously approved by the voters; as well as the Business License Tax, Utility Users Tax, Parking Tax, Transient Occupancy (hotel) Tax, and the Real Property Transfer Tax.

Under Article XIIIB of the California Constitution a city is limited to appropriating (i.e. authorizing expenditure of) the amount of taxes (adjusted by an inflation factor) that it spent in the 1986–1987 fiscal year. This limit may only be exceeded if the voters approve the excess expenditures by a majority vote. This constitutional restriction on appropriations (expenditures) is in addition to the constitutional requirement that special taxes must be approved by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the people and general taxes by majority vote. Although the appropriations (expenditure) limit was raised by the voters to allow continued expenditure of the proceeds of voter-approved taxes when those taxes were adopted, voter authorization to raise the spending limit must be renewed every four years. A city has two years to obtain voter approval on this expenditure. After that, the tax increase would have to be returned to the taxpayers within two years. Submitting the measures individually would be cost prohibitive and could confuse voters since the net effect of the measures is to raise the City’s expenditure limit by the amount of taxes previously approved by the voters. For this reason, a single measure would raise the City’s expenditure limit by the aggregate amount of the taxes adopted to date and the income from their investment.

— Zach Cowan, Berkeley City Attorney

Financial effect

This measure would not increase taxes or adopt a new tax. It would authorize the City to continue to spend tax funds previously approved by the voters or the Council for the purposes specified in voter-approved special taxes and for general governmental purposes such as public safety, infrastructure and public services, for fiscal years 2017 through 2020.

— Zach Cowan, Berkeley City Attorney

Arguments FOR

Because of a state mandated ceiling on city expenditures, this ballot measure comes before the voters every four years for approval. It must pass or city services will be sharply curtailed. This measure does not raise taxes.

During the past decade, the city’s population has grown by more than 11 percent. We are providing essential services for our expanding population with a smaller city staff. Our citizens want a wide variety of city services and have voted by a two-thirds margin to fund those services during the past three decades. Those tax measures included funding for City libraries (1988), streets (2012), parks (1997), Emergency Medical Services (1997), Emergency Services for Severely Disabled Persons (1998), and keeping fire stations open and improving emergency medical response and disaster preparedness (2008).

This measure will allow City of Berkeley Departments to continue to provide these important, tax-supported community services to our growing population.

If the measure does not pass, the City will lose tens of millions of dollars in already approved tax revenue, forcing dramatic reductions in fire safety, disaster preparedness, paramedic services, library services, park maintenance, services for the physically disabled and landscaping. These services impact the quality of life throughout our city.

This measure was passed unanimously by the City Council. We urge your YES vote.

—Tom Bates, Berkeley Mayor
Linda Maio, Vice Mayor
—Julie Holcomb, President, Board of Library Trustees, Berkeley Public Library
—Dmitri Belser, Executive Director, Center for Accessible Technology

— Alameda County Registrar of Voters

Arguments AGAINST

No arguments against were filed.

— Alameda County Registrar of Voters

Proposed legislation

APPROVING INCREASE IN APPROPRIATION LIMIT FOR FISCAL YEARS 2017 THROUGH 2020

WHEREAS, Article XIIIB of the California Constitution requires that the voters approve increases in the City’s appropriations limit on a four year cycle; and

WHEREAS, such increases allow the City to expend funds it has already collected from previously approved ballot measures for various purposes including public safety, parks and recreation, health services, and infrastructure; and

WHEREAS, such expenditures are necessary for the continued health and well-being of City residents.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the People of the City of Berkeley that
the City’s appropriation limit under Article XIIIB of the California Constitution is increased to allow the expenditure of the proceeds of City taxes and income from the investment of those taxes for fiscal years 2017 through 2020.

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