Measure C - November 6, 2018
Why is Measure C on the November 2018 ballot?
The City Council placed the Culver City Neighborhood Safety and City Services Protection Measure on the November 6, 2018 ballot after unanimously declaring a fiscal emergency. The City has projected that, without increased revenue, it will be difficult to continue the current level of community services and to make ongoing infrastructure improvements. The revenue from a quarter-cent sales tax would allow the City to maintain a high quality of life in Culver City.
Why is the City pursuing a sales tax?
During the budget process for Fiscal Year 2018-19, the City Manager’s budget message focused on the long-term General Fund forecast. There were several reasons why some immediate decisions needed to be made:
- Requests for budget enhancements (example: public safety) that were not approved.
- The City's revenue growth has slowed down. In some cases, there is negative revenue growth.
- Expenses are growing at a faster pace due to inflationary factors and increasing pension liability payments.
Part of recent budget discussions with the community and the City Council centered on options for significantly decreasing expenditures and/or increasing revenues. Through discussion at a budget study session meeting on June 18, 2018, the City Council determined it would proceed with putting a quarter-cent sales tax measure on the November ballot. Before Measure C could be submitted to the voters, it required a unanimous vote of the City Council declaring a fiscal emergency.
How will Measure C appear on the November 2018 ballot?
November 6, 2018 ballot text for Measure C:
"Culver City Neighborhood Safety and City Services Protection Measure. Shall the measure to maintain 911 emergency response times by retaining firefighters, police officers, paramedics; fully staff neighborhood fire stations; fix potholes/streets; maintain senior services, after school programs, parks and other general fund City services, by increasing Culver City’s sales tax one-quarter cent, until ended by voters with no rate increase, generating approximately $4,900,000 annually, requiring independent annual audits, and all funds used locally, be adopted?"
Is Measure C a special tax or a general tax?
Measure C, the Culver City Neighborhood Safety and City Services Protection Measure, is a general tax. It proposes a quarter-cent transactions and use tax, commonly known as a sales tax. The revenue from this sales tax would be deposited into the City's General Fund, which could be used for any valid municipal purpose. As a general tax, Measure C will require approval by a simple majority of those voting on the measure.
How much will Measure C cost?
Measure C proposes a quarter-cent sales tax: it would add 5 cents for every $20 spent until ended by voters with no rate increase. The tax will not apply to prescription medications and many groceries.
What would Measure C funds be used for?
The quarter-cent sales tax would generate about $5 million annually and be used for the General Fund, which includes public safety, community programs, infrastructure maintenance and other City services. The City’s spending would undergo independent annual audits, and 100% of funds would be used locally to maintain City operations and community services/programs.
How did the elimination of the Culver City Redevelopment Agency factor into this proposed sales tax?
Nearly 20% of the City's General Fund positions were eliminated when the City was coping with the Great Recession and elimination of the Culver City Redevelopment Agency. Reducing positions further will have a direct impact of the levels of service the City can offer the community.
Will there be any independent oversight of the Measure C revenues and expenditures?
If Measure C is passed by voters, the Finance Advisory Committee will provide quarterly reports of fund proceeds and expenditures to the City Council. The Finance Advisory Committee consists of up to nine (9) members appointed by the City Council: up to three (3) Culver City residents, up to three (3) members of the Culver City business community, up to two (2) labor representatives, and up to one (1) representative of the Culver City Unified School District (CCUSD).
What will happen if Measure C does not pass?
If Measure C does not pass, it may be necessary to make cuts to critical projects, services and programs. Reducing City staff positions will have a direct impact of the levels of service the City can offer the community, including emergency response, youth and senior programs, and public safety. Without Measure C funds, it will be difficult to ensure Culver City’s long-term budget stability, meet financial obligations, and maintain sufficient emergency reserve funds.