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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Smart Voter
Alameda County, CA November 7, 2006 Election
Measure L
Utility Users Tax
City of Fremont

Majority Approval Required

Fail: 18,579 / 42.7% Yes votes ...... 24,976 / 57.3% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Dec 4 5:41pm, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (123/123)
Information shown below: Yes/No Meaning | Impartial Analysis | Arguments |

City of Fremont Utility Users Tax Measure. To help preserve the safety and character of Fremont and maintain essential general fund services such as police, fire and street and park maintenance, shall an ordinance be adopted establishing a gas and electric utility users tax of four percent, limited to six years and subject to independent annual financial audits, and establishing an independent Fremont taxpayers' committee to review expenditures?

Meaning of Voting Yes/No
A YES vote on this measure means:
A "yes" vote is a vote to adopt a Utility Users Tax on the use of electricity and gas in the City of Fremont, at a rate not to exceed 4%, for a period of 6 years, for general fund purposes.

A NO vote on this measure means:
A "no" vote is a vote not to adopt a Utility Users Tax.

Impartial Analysis from Fremont City Attorney
Measure L seeks voter approval of a Utility Users Tax Ordinance. If passed, the Ordinance generally would impose a four percent (4%) utility user tax based on charges for electric and gas utilities. The tax rate for Large Users, as defined in the Ordinance, would be one percent (1%). The tax would automatically expire after six years, and could not be extended without an additional vote of the people.

The Ordinance generally provides for the tax to be collected by utility companies and paid as part of regular utility bills. For example, a household with a $100.00 monthly electric bill would pay an additional 4%, or $4.00, for a total of $104.00. Direct purchasers of electricity and gas, and the largest consumers of these utilities, could opt to pay the tax directly to the City. The Ordinance authorizes the Fremont City Council to exempt or reduce the tax rate for particular classes of users, such as low income persons or certain classes of businesses. The Ordinance establishes an independent oversight committee to review and report on how the tax is implemented and utilized.

The Utility Users Tax would be a general tax, and as such must be approved by a simple majority of the voters voting in the election. The proceeds of the tax, as a general tax, will be deposited in the City's general fund and used for general governmental purposes, such as police and fire protection services, and street and park maintenance.

A "yes" vote is a vote to adopt a Utility Users Tax on the use of electricity and gas in the City of Fremont, at a rate not to exceed 4%, for a period of 6 years, for general fund purposes.

A "no" vote is a vote not to adopt a Utility Users Tax.

The above statement is an impartial analysis of Measure L. The definition of each utility service and a description of how the tax is calculated and collected are more particularly described in the Ordinance. If you desire a copy of the Ordinance, please contact the City Clerk's Office at 3300 Capitol Avenue, Bldg. A, Fremont, California 94537, phone number (510) 284-4060, email, and a copy will be sent at no cost to you. In addition, you can read the complete text of the Ordinance on the City's web site at .

s/Harvey Levine
City Attorney

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Arguments For Measure L Arguments Against Measure L
In the last three years, the City has been forced to make cuts in vital services. The reason? Seizure of local tax revenue by the State. Our City cannot provide the level of service that residents want and need without money we control locally.

If you want the level of City services restored, vote YES on Measure L.

We are already seeing the problems. Fremont has been forced to make hard choices about essential community services:

  • Reduction in the ratio of police officers per resident
  • Reductions to crime, gang, and drug prevention programs
  • Closure of one fire station and reduction of hours at the others
  • 30% reduction of pothole repair and deteriorating street maintenance
  • Cuts to libraries, senior services, and neighborhood park and recreation programs

The City is operating as efficiently as possible under the circumstances but not without severe long-term consequences for quality of life in Fremont.

YES ON L addresses the needs identified by the 4,000 Fremont citizens and community leaders who helped write the measure, such as police protection, street maintenance, and emergency medical services.

YES ON L allows citizens to have local control over funding. Every dime generated by Measure L stays here to restore the services that Fremont residents value most.

YES ON L applies only to gas and electricity and provides exemptions for low-income families. Most people pay more for cable TV every month than for public safety services.

YES ON L ensures strong fiscal accountability through annual independent audits and the oversight of a taxpayer oversight committee.

YES ON L imposes a time limit of 6 years.

Your YES vote on Measure L helps ensure that Fremont remains the great place we have chosen to live, do business, and raise a family.

Vote YES on L.

s/Fremont City Council
by Bob Wasserman, Mayor
s/League of Women Voters of Fremont, Newark and Union
City by Miriam Keller, President
s/Dirk Lorenz
Small Business Owner, City of Fremont
s/Robert Tavares
President of Mission San Jose Chamber of Commerce
s/Judy Zlatnik
Past President, Niles Main Street Association

Rebuttal to Arguments For
Let's set the record straight. This utility tax is NOT needed! It's a shameful money grab! The proponents are misstating facts.

You rejected this same tax two years ago. Since then, CA stopped seizing local taxes (almost $3,000,000.00 annually). City revenues are up and our city budget has dramatically increased. Reserves have grown. The city now receives nearly $40,000,000.00 a year from your property taxes. Only a small portion goes to redevelopment.

They claim 4,000 citizens, 2% of Fremont's population, want more taxes. 98% of Fremont will vote in November!

98% of the burglar alarms are false so they stopped responding. Yet they still collect for false alarm permits. Perhaps they should use that money to fix the potholes.

They exempt low-income households from this tax and limit what businesses will pay. That leaves the middle class to bear the burden.

They say there will be an oversight committee. It has no power! It doesn't help us to know the barn burned down last week.

"Trust us" no longer cuts it! No banker will give money without being told the need and the ability to repay the loan.

Instead of higher taxes we need leadership in Fremont that will stop spending money on itself through inexcusable compensation packages. We can't afford to keep refilling the trough without seeing tangible results.

We urgently need change and it starts with the defeat of this utility tax. The summation of their arguments is more of the same!

Vote No on Measure L.

Respectfully Submitted,
s/John D. Wolfe
Waste Watchers
s/Bernard Nott
Retired Citizen
s/Ken Hoffman
Concerned Citizen
s/Kenneth D. Steadman
President-Waste Watchers Inc.

In 2004, just two short years ago, you said "NO" to a Utility Tax. The City of Fremont's financial picture has greatly improved in the last two years with unrestricted reserves increasing, despite predictions of dire consequences. You again need to Vote NO on this new Utility Tax proposal!

The city's staff retirement contributions are on the rise again as salaries are increasing. These retirement contributions come from your tax dollars.

The annual compensation package for our city's management team is on average over $200,000 a year and increasing annually.

Have your personal cash savings increased?

Do you have more disposable income?

Have you been able to put more money away for retirement?

Does your employer pay for your commute costs?

Better yet, does your employer allow you to convert your commute cost into a higher salary, thereby increasing contributions to your retirement plan?

The city is banking on your charity, but charity begins at home. We should not be paying for inept management. They cannot even fix the potholes, thereby endangering our safety when we drive. However, the highway medians look well-landscaped.

Fremont residents pay about the highest property taxes per capita in the county. Renters pay their share in the form of higher rents.

The extra Hundreds of Millions that the city is receiving from Alameda County for Redevelopment is coming from you. Where is that money going?

All told, Fremont annually receives around $250,000,000.00 from all sources. How much more do they need?

This Utility Tax sadly is nothing more than a money grab. Remember what you paid in utility bills this past hot summer. We are being taxed to death to live in Fremont.

Vote NO on this Utility Tax proposal!

Respectfully Submitted,
s/John D. Wolfe
Concerned Citizen-Waste Watchers
s/Bernard Nott
Retired Citizen
s/Kenneth D. Steadman
President Waste Watchers Inc.
s/Ken Hoffman
Concerned Citizen

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
You've heard the opponents, now hear the truth.
  • Fremont residents do not pay the highest taxes, all California residents pay the same rate; In fact, many Fremont residents spend more for cable television than for public safety.
  • Our streets are ridden with potholes.
  • We've cut back on Police Services so drastically, police no longer respond to burglar alarms.
  • We have closed one fire station and shut down others on a rotating basis - making it much more difficult to respond in an emergency.

These are real challenges facing our City, and regular citizens like us + not politicians or staff, drafted Measure L to develop a solution: a modest increase in your utility bill, applying ONLY to gas and electric.

This will cost the average household about $4/month. Isn't this a small price to pay to end fire station brown outs, repair streets and potholes, and maintain police service levels? We think so! There is also a sunset clause, an exemption for low-income residents, and an oversight review committee.

Measure L isn't about salaries or retirement. It's about essential services residents need, and community priorities.

Yes on L funds essential repairs to streets and roads.

Yes on L provides for fire protection services, increasing your personal safety.

Yes on L ensures quality police and public safety services are maintained at excellent levels.

Don't be fooled by irresponsible rhetoric - a safe City with good roads and services hangs in the balance.

Vote Yes on L.

s/Dr. Rakesh Sharma
Cancer Biologist
s/Doug Tinney
Active Member-CERT Community Emergency
Response Team
s/Steven Chan DDS
Pediatric Dentist, Local Business Owner
s/Robert N. Creveling
Citizens Task Force
s/James L. Reeder, Jr.
President, Glenmoor Reality, Inc.

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Created: January 4, 2007 09:29 PST
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