2016 November Ballot Positions

Contra Costa Taxpayers Association

Prop

No.

Subject

Needed To Pass

CoCoTax

51

Public Ed. Facilities Bond Initiative – K-12 and Community College Facilities -  $9B

http://cainitiatives2016.com/2016/07/08/prop-51-public-education-facilities-bond-initiative/

  • Important to provide matching funds for worthy local bond measures

2/3

YES

52

Medi-Cal Hospital Reimbursement Initiative – Federal Medi-Cal matching funds. Amendment to CA Constitution. http://cainitiatives2016.com/2016/07/08/prop-52-medi-cal-hospital-reimbursement-initiative/

Majority

NO

POSIT.

53

No Blank Checks - Voter Approval for Bonds over $2B

http://cainitiatives2016.com/2016/07/08/prop-53-no-blank-checks/

  • Stop runaway mega-projects, like High Speed Rail

Majority

YES

54

CA Legislature Transparency Amendment - Legislative Bills Print/Publish before Vote

http://cainitiatives2016.com/2016/07/08/prop-54-ca-legislature-transparency-amendment/

   Gives legislators AND the public an opportunity to review before a vote on the floor

Majority

YES

55

Tax Extension Implemented by Prop 30 -  Tax on Wealthy

http://cainitiatives2016.com/2016/07/08/prop-55-tax-extension-implemented-by-prop-30/

  • The original tax - Prop 30 - was supposed to be TEMPORARY; the Legislature and the Governor should keep their promises

2/3

NO

56

Healthcare, Research and Prevention Tobacco Tax Amendment - $2 per Pack, e-cigs

http://cainitiatives2016.com/2016/07/08/prop-56-healthcare-research-and-prevention-tobacco-tax-amendment/

  • This measure does NOT really fund smoking prevention;
  • Most of the money raised will be used to bail out ObamaCare in California

2/3

NO

57

Parole, Early Release & Juvenile Trial Reform – Increases the chance felons have for parole if convicted of non-violent crimes

http://cainitiatives2016.com/2016/07/08/prop-57-parole-early-release-and-juvenile-trial-reform/

  • Reduces California’s huge prison and jail costs
  • Reduces California's “crime school” prison culture
  • Gives judges and parole authorities more latitude for sentencing nonviolent offenders

Majority

NO

58

Multilingual Education Act – repeal portions of Prop 227 requiring schools to teach students in English only

http://cainitiatives2016.com/2016/07/08/prop-58-multilingual-education-act/

Majority

NO

POSIT.

59

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission – overturning the decision

http://cainitiatives2016.com/2016/07/08/prop-59-citizens-united-v-federal-election-commission/

Majority

NO

POSIT.

60

Condoms in Pornographic Films –

http://cainitiatives2016.com/2016/07/08/prop-60-condoms-in-pornographic-films-initiative/

Majority

NO

POSIT.

61

Drug Price Relief Act – pricing standards

http://cainitiatives2016.com/2016/07/08/prop-61-drug-price-relief-act/

Majority

NO

POSIT.

62

Death Penalty Repeal

http://cainitiatives2016.com/2016/07/08/prop-62-death-penalty-repeal/

NO

POSIT.

63

“Safety for All” Gun Control Initiative – prohibits owning large-capacity ammunition magazines, background checks

http://cainitiatives2016.com/2016/07/08/prop-63-safety-for-all-gun-control-initiative/

  • This measure will add cost to firearms dealers and to consumers, with negligible reduction in violent crime;
  • Second Amendment issue

Majority

NO

64

Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana – legalize marijuana

http://cainitiatives2016.com/2016/07/08/prop-64-control-regulate-and-tax-adult-use-of-marijuana/

NO

POSIT.

65

Environmental Fee Protection Initiative - Grocery Bag Revenues

http://cainitiatives2016.com/2016/07/08/prop-65-environmental-fee-protection-initiative/

Majority

NO

POSIT.

66

Death Penalty Reform and Savings Initiative – changes procedures on challenging convictions

http://cainitiatives2016.com/2016/07/08/prop-66-death-penalty-reform-and-savings-initiative/

  • Reduces cost of processing appeals

Majority

YES

67

Plastic Bag Ban Referendum - overturn plastic bag ban

http://cainitiatives2016.com/2016/07/06/proposition-67-plastic-bag-ban-referendum/

  • Eliminates a false environmental issue; saves consumers money

Majority

YES

RR

BART – Safety, Reliability and Traffic - $3.5B in bonds

  • This measure does not commit the BART board to use fare revenues set aside for capital expansion for that purpose; directors insist on having the “flexibility” to use this money for operations;
  • Contra Costa taxpayers are being asked in the CCTA sales tax Measure X to fund BART expansion, and should not have to subsidize BART labor contracts

2/3

NO

X

CCTA Transportation Sales Tax Increase – ½% - $97M

  • Although CoCoTax deplores local taxpayers being asked - again - to fund county transportation projects (that should be funded by outstate gas and vehicles taxes, as previously) our roads and bridges continue to deteriorate, and we must protect our investment, even if the state won’t

2/3

YES

P

John Swett Unified – new Carquinez Middle School - $40M in bonds


55%

NO

POSIT.

Q

John Swett Unified – renovation John Swett High - $22M in bonds


55%

NO

POSIT.

U

Liberty Union High School District - Facilities & Equipment - $122M bond

   Our three comprehensive high schools are among the best in the region. Liberty, Freedom, and Heritage provide outstanding instruction, preparing students for college and to compete for good paying jobs. All three schools have been awarded the California Gold Ribbon Award for excellence.

   While they vary in age, each one needs repairs and renovations. Measure U will ensure each school has comparable, equitable facilities that are built to reduce overcrowding and equally distribute student enrollment.

   Passage of Measure U will qualify our schools to receive matching funds of more than $30 million when it becomes available, reducing the cost of renovations to local taxpayers.

   Measure U requires a clear system of accountability, including a Citizens’ Oversight Committee, and independent audits to ensure all money is spent locally with no money spent on administrators.

    Whether or not you have school-age children, protecting the quality of our schools is a wise investment. Measure U protects the quality of life in our community and the value of our homes.

55%

YES

R

Martinez Unified – facilities & technology - $120M

55%

NO

POSIT.

V

Moraga Elementary – quality of education, facilities, technology - $33M

55%

NO

POSIT.

W

Oakley Union Elementary School District – facilities - $31M

55%

NO

POSIT.

S

Pittsburg Unified School District – program, staff - $1.2M – Parcel tax

2/3

NO

POSIT.

T

West Contra Costa Unified – quality education – extend existing school funding measure

   The West Contra Costa Unified School District wants to tap your wallet - again. Property tax bills show multiple bonds from 1998 to 2012, and property owners will continue to pay these obligations for many years. In addition, a large share of our basic 1% county property taxes goes to WCCUSD.

   Voters also approved a parcel tax in 2004, slated to expire in 5 years, which was extended twice by voters to 2019. WCCUSD wants, again, to renew the parcel tax while years still remain on the current tax. Measure T would extend expiration another 8 years to 2027.

   But, has all this taxpayer money been well spent?

   Currently, the School District is under investigation by two federal agencies, and its $1.6 billion bond program is being audited for mismanagement, fraud and waste. This independent forensic audit was triggered by allegations of abuse disclosed to the public by a District employee “whistleblower.” (Incidentally, a recent report by the Contra Costa Grand Jury stated that the District has been paying over three times more for construction costs than the state average.) The result of the initial phase of the forensic audit was appalling, showing that the allegations are likely plausible. The full report is due August 31.

   Fortunately, some positive leadership changes have occurred.  However, the whistleblower, who tried for years without success to bring problems to management’s attention before going public, just received an unsatisfactory performance evaluation, a clear violation of state law protecting whistleblowers from retaliation.

   Voters should wait for these investigations to reveal their findings, and demand that the District correct its shortcomings. It’s much too soon to entrust the District with more of our money.

2/3

NO

Y

Alamo Parks & Rec. – appropriations limit increased to $1,650,000

Majority

NO

POSIT.

Z

City of Brentwood – utility users tax – City services - $6.1M per year

This measure purports to fund the East Contra Costa Fire District (ECCFPD), but does not even mention the district, nor does it bind or legally require the City to fund the ECCFPD.  This regressive Utility User Tax:

   Will impose an average household tax of $200 to $400+ and business tax of up to $1000 or more annually; it is clearly unaffordable for many residents.

  • Is a general purpose “slush fund” tax for the City of Brentwood, masked on the bills of the targeted utilities - cable television, electricity, gas, water and sewer.
  • Will generate revenues that will be deposited into the city of Brentwood GENERAL FUND forany usethe city determines is necessary for its own needs.
  • Will not force the city to negotiate a promissory agreement with ECCFPD nor annually fulfill its promise to fund the Fire District; the fire district’s budget forecasts will be unreliable.
  • Is designed to avoid the 2/3 vote requirement of other tax measures tried in the past by the ECCFPD, which failed.
  • Will burden all residences, businesses, non-profits, and other types of organizations within the city, damaging the economy.
  • Will be dependent on the city’s financial condition, and on the city council’s judgment and desire to satisfy their own perceived needs before it funds the fire district.

Majority

NO

A

City of Brentwood – advisory vote – if above measure passes $ raises used to restore and enhance fire, emergency medical response

   See note on Measure Z above

Majority

NO

B

City of El Cerrito – library - $30M in bonds for 33 years

   Proponents haven’t even selected a site, and plans are too vague to allow reasonable cost estimates;

   This measure is a blank check

   Technology advances cause questions as to long-term debt for a brick-and-mortar building

2/3

NO

C

City of Lafayette – quality of life – 1% sales tax for 29 years

Majority

NO

POSIT.

H

City of Pittsburg – City Clerk from elected to appointed

   The Contra Costa Taxpayers Association strongly oppose this measure.

   As official custodian for all public meeting minutes and other critical documents, it is vital that the position of City Clerk not be vulnerable to pressure from the City Manager or council members in order to protect his/her job.

   The public relies on true and accurate public records of government actions, and as long as the City Clerk is only accountable to the people, they can rely on independent recording and record management.

Majority

NO

J

City of Pittsburg - Marijuana Business Tax – no more than 10% of gross receipts – if City amends municipal code or State law is amended

   This is just a tax grab and the issue of legalization of marijuana just complicates the matter.

Majority

NO

K

City of Pleasant Hill – services and facilities – ½ cent sales tax - $4M annually for 20 year

   This is a “slush fund” proposal, covering too many purposes;

   The city has deferred road maintenance to pay for raises and frivolous civic events;

   The city (like most) has a large unfunded pension obligation, and pension premiums are increasing dramatically; the city needs to realign its financial priorities

   The proposed library will replace one owned by the county, which seeks to be relieved of its $10M unfunded maintenance obligation

   Yet, the county insists libraries be operated by high-cost union employees

2/3

NO

M

City of Richmond – increase Citys Real Estate Doc. Transfer Tax from .7% to 1% and 1.5%

  What service does the City of Richmond provide the County Clerk-Recorder, who is responsible for real estate document recording? NONE

   What recording service does the City of Richmond provide the parties in a transfer of real property? NONE

  What preparation of recordable documents does Richmond do in a real estate transaction? NONE

  It is customary for local governments to charge a reasonable fee for services rendered, but this is a proposed tax for NO services.

  Richmond doesn’t have a revenue problem; it has a spending problem.  The people of Richmond have a nation-wide reputation as hard workers - the legacy of “Rosie the Riveter.”   But, Richmond’s politicians routinely find ways to waste hard-earned taxpayer money, like paying to send a sex worker involved in a recent police scandal to Florida, for “rehabilitation.” 

  Richmond officials need to honor what Richmond families and businesses do, and learn to live within their means.

Majority

NO

L

City of Richmond – Rent Control Measure

   The city cannot manage its existing public housing projects; it should let the housing market determine rents

Majority

NO

C1

Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District 1 – extend existing $8/mo. parcel tax

2/3

NO

POSIT.

N

East Contra Costa Fire Protection District – from appointed to elected at large

   The current appointed board has done a dismal job of securing reliable funding for the district, and city-appointed board members have conflicting agendas

   CoCoTax fully supports the efforts of our East County members who seek equitable property tax reallocation - visit www.ecv.org

Majority

YES

E

Oakley Utility User Tax (UUT) - 3.5% tax to support general services

   See note on Measure Z above

Majority

NO

G

Oakley UUT Advisory Measure - See Measure A above

   See note on Measure A above

Majority

NO

D

City of Martinez sales tax - 1/2 cent for 15b years for road maintenance

2/3

NO

POSIT.

O

Rodeo-Hercules Fire District - $18/month parcel tax for fire services

   RHFD faces funding shortages similar to East County Fire

   CoCoTax will monitor the district to see if property tax reallocation is a better solution

2/3

NO

POSIT.

Link to local ballot measures:  http://www.cocovote.us/wp-content/uploads/MeasWordList_072116.pdf

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