This is an All-Mail Special Election. There are no polling places for this election. Arguments in favor or against the proposed measure are the opinions of the authors.
CONTRA COSTA COUNTY SERVICE AREA P-5 (Round Hill)
Shall County of Contra Costa Ordinance No. 2019-02 be approved to authorize an increase in the special tax on property located in County Service Area P-5 by $140 per parcel, from a maximum of $792 to a maximum of $932 annually for parcels used for commercial recreational purposes, and from a maximum of $330 to a maximum of $470 annually for all other parcels, to provide additional funding for police protection services?
COUNTY COUNSEL’S IMPARTIAL ANALYSIS OF MEASURE C
The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors has adopted an ordinance to increase a special tax (a parcel tax) on property located in Contra Costa County Service Area No. P-5 (Roundhill) for police protection services. This tax is a special tax pursuant to the California Constitution and requires approval by two-thirds of those voting to pass.
The authorizing ordinance requires that the proceeds of this special tax be used in Contra Costa County Service Area No. P-5 “solely for the purposes of obtaining, furnishing, operating, and maintaining police protection equipment or apparatus, for paying the salaries and benefits of police protection personnel, and for such other police protection service expenses as are deemed necessary.”
Beginning July 1, 2019, and continuing annually, the special tax on each parcel of taxable real property in Contra Costa County Service Area No. P-5 for police protection services would be increased by $140. A parcel of taxable real property is any unit of real property in Contra Costa County Service Area No. P-5 that receives a separate tax bill for property taxes from the Contra Costa County Treasurer-Tax Collector’s Office. Beginning 2019-2020 fiscal year, the special tax would be $932 annually for parcels used for commercial recreational purposes and the special tax would be $470 annually for all other parcels. The tax does not have an expiration date.
Proceeds from the special tax may be used only for the specific purposes set forth in the authorizing ordinance and according to constitutional and statutory provisions. These provisions also require specific accountability measures, including the creation of an account into which the tax proceeds are to be deposited and an annual written report prepared by Contra Costa County’s chief fiscal officer showing the amount of the special tax collected and expended. The tax would be collected at the same time as, and along with, general ad valorem property taxes.
At least two-thirds of those voting on the ballot measure must approve the measure for it to pass.
A “yes” vote is a vote in favor of authorizing the special tax.
A “no” vote is a vote against authorizing the special tax.
ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF MEASURE C
An increase of $140 per year in the property tax on parcels in Round Hill and adjoining communities (P-5 Service Area) is essential to maintain the current level of police protective services. The P-5 police program was approved in 1972 with funding from a $150 special property tax. The purpose of the P-5 program is to deter criminal activity and provide for the safety of residents. P-5 receives the service of two dedicated sheriff’s deputies. The program has enjoyed great success.
More than 15 years ago, the special property tax was increased by the voters to $330 per year for each residential property. That covered the costs of policing and created a reserve fund. Over the years, expenses for the police services increased beyond annual revenue such that the reserve fund has been used in recent years to cover the shortfall. Unless the proposal for a $140 increase is approved, the reserve fund will be depleted in approximately two years. The proposed tax increase will allow the current level of police services to continue until approximately 2026.
Unless the proposed tax increase is approved there will be a reduction in police services. This means that there will be longer response times from the sheriff’s department and the prospect of increased criminal activity in our community.
Last year, automated license reader cameras were installed at various locations surrounding the P-5 area. These cameras are helpful in deterring crime and assisting police in solving crimes. The P-5 deputies use the information provided from the cameras to investigate and solve crimes. Without the efforts of the dedicated P-5 deputies, these investigations would take longer. These cameras cannot replace the deputies who provide police protective services in the P-5 area.
We urge a “YES” vote.
Linda Schultz, Member of P-5 Committee
Robert Besse, Member of P-5 Committee
Richard Kopf, Chair of P-5 Committee
Mark Cordone, Member of P-5 Committee
ARGUMENT AGAINST MEASURE C
No Argument Against was filed.