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Contra Costa County, CA June 5, 2012 Election
Measure O
Half Cent Sales Tax
City of Hercules

Majority Approval Required

Pass: 2757 / 70.78% Yes votes ...... 1138 / 29.22% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Jun 22 3:50pm, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (13/13)
Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments |

Local Temporary Emergency Funding Measure. To address Hercules' Fiscal Emergency, stabilize city finances, offset budget shortfalls/the impact of State budget cuts on local services, prevent reductions to the number of police officers/crime investigators, protect/maintain crime prevention, childcare, youth sports and recreation programs and other general City services, shall the City of Hercules establish a 1/2 cent sales tax legally ending after 4 years, with Independent Citizens' Oversight, Independent Audits and no money for Sacramento?

Impartial Analysis from the City Attorney
The City Council of the City of Hercules has placed Measure O on the June 5, 2012 ballot to ask the voters to approve an ordinance that would enact a temporary four year increase in the transactions and use (sales) tax within the City. It adopted by voters, the temporary increase would generate additional local funding to stabilize the City's finances.

The tax would temporarily increase the current rate from 8.25% to 8.75%, a one-half of one percent (0.50%) increase. Measure O is legally required to terminate 4 years after collection begins, unless extended by the voters.

Because Measure O does not limit the use of tax revenue to a specific purpose, the proposed tax is a general tax, requiring a majority vote (approval by more than fifty percent (50%) of City voters voting in the election) for passage. Therefore, the City may use the funds for a variety of purposes, including but not limited to addressing the City's Fiscal Emergency; increasing police officer staffing, which is below Recommended Safety Levels; maintaining current levels of emergency services; providing additional funding for neighborhood police patrols, emergency response times, crime prevention and investigation resources; earthquake preparedness; after-school programs for children and teens; senior services; and parks.

Measure O is not a property tax on homeowners. Technically, the existing "sales tax" is a combination of "sales and use tax" and "transactions and use tax." Retailers collect the tax at the time of sale and remit the funds to the State Board of Equalization, which administers the tax.

The Measure includes fiscal accountability provisions, requiring the City's independent auditors to prepare annually a publicly available report on the collection, management and expenditure of revenue from the tax. Additionally, a Citizens' Oversight Committee would be established to provide independent oversight to ensure that tax revenues are spent by the City in a manner consistent with this measure.

A "Yes" vote is a vote to approve the enactment of the half-cent transaction and use tax for 4 years, which would increase the total sales tax rate from 8.25% to 8.75%, with annual audits and review by the Citizen's Oversight Committee. A "No" vote is a vote against the one-half of one percent (0.50%) tax increase. Measure O would be approved if it receives a simple majority of "Yes" votes.

DATED: March 7, 2012

J. Patrick Tang, City Attorney

City of Hercules

The above statement is an impartial analysis of Measure O. If you desire a copy of the of Measure, please call the City Clerk's office at (510) 799-8215 and a copy will be mailed at no cost to you.

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Arguments For Measure O Arguments Against Measure O
Dear Neighbor:

We've been through terrible times together. Past, corrupt administrations--including Council members that were voted out of office - grossly mismanaged Hercules's finances.

A new Council and Executive Team are working hard to establish accountability and stabilize our finances--reducing 37% of the City's workforce, reducing salaries/benefits and essential community services such as police, library hours, senior and child care programs, and eliminating special events.

Police staffing has already been reduced below recommended levels to ensure the safety and security of a city our size.

Unfortunately, Hercules remains in a severe Fiscal Emergency, including the loss of over 30% in revenue and a $6 Million budget deficit last year. And we were recently devastated by more Sacramento money grabs, amounting to the seizure of millions from Hercules.

We must act quickly to stabilize city finances, protect our property values, and keep Hercules safe. We need YOUR help--VOTE YES on O!

YES on O addresses Hercules's Fiscal Emergency

YES on O prevents reductions to local police officers/crime investigators

Yes on O protects crime prevention programs

YES on O prevents cuts to youth sports/recreation programs

YES on O maintains the essential city services we rely on

YES on O is legally required to expire in 4 years and is temporary.

YES on O provides locally-controlled funding that can't be taken by Sacramento politicians, ensuring our tax dollars are spent locally for Hercules residents.

YES on O includes tough fiscal accountability provisions including an Independent Citizens' Oversight Committee and annual, published financial audits. These fiscal safeguards will ensure funds are used efficiently, effectively and as promised to voters.

Join the Hercules Police Officers Association, business and community leaders and local taxpayers - Vote YES on O to stabilize Hercules's finances and protect our property values, services and economy!

Hercules Police Officers Association, Alex Abetkov, President

Carol J. White, Former member Hercules Chamber of Commerce

Cip Ayalin, 33 Year Resident of Hercules

Dr. Betty Fong, Local Business Owner

Margie Liberty, Tax Payer Advocate

None filed.

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Created: July 26, 2012 13:00 PDT
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