Parcel Tax, Sales Tax Measures On Local Ballot
November 1, 2018
When Culver City voters go to the polls next week for the statewide election, they will also vote on three local measures, including two calling to tax increases.
Measure C, called the "Culver City Neighborhood Safety and City Services Protection Measure" will increase the City's sales tax by one quarter percent. Currently, the local sales tax in the City is 10% of the purchase price of taxable items, Culver City currently receives 1.5% and the remaining 8.5% goes to the State and County. If Measure C passes, the sales tax rate would increase to 10.25%. Culver City would receive 1.75% with the remaining 8.5% going to the State and County.
The City claims the increase would help balance the rising costs for local services and maintaining emergency response times by hiring more firefighters, police officers, paramedics. They also plan to use the money from the sales tax towards fixing potholes and streets, continuing senior services and after-school programs, park maintenance, and other general fund City services.
City officials claim the sales tax increase would generate around $4.9 million annually for Culver City.
The second proposition on the municipal ballot is Measure D, a proposed charter amendment. The City wants to change the date of the Municipal Election for City Council Members from April to November of even numbered years.
The purpose is to change the election to the date of the statewide general election. This means in November of even numbered years, residents in Culver City would be responsible for voting in the statewide election as well as voting for new Culver City Council Members. Culver City wants to switch the municipal election dates because recent voter data shows that, in the past four municipal elections, the average voter turnout has been 48.2%, less than the average voter turnout in the past four statewide elections. If passed, Measure D would take effect in 2020.
The Culver City Unified School District also has a tax measure on the ballot. The district (CCUSD) is asking for an education parcel tax of $189 annually. A parcel tax is a property tax based on units of property. If the measure passes, it will require homeowners in the district to pay $189 per parcel annually on taxable real property for seven years and the district plans to form an independent oversight committee to review how the funds produced from the tax are being used.
Seniors are exempt under the parcel tax measure, which requires a 2/3 majority of the voters in order to pass. If approved, the tax would begin on July 1, 2019 and would produce an estimated $2.3 million annually.
The district says the money will be used to, "provide stable, reliable, and secure local funding for schools, independent of State funds."
According to the district, the monies would go towards funding core programs in math, science, technology, engineering, art, and music. The district also claims they will use the funds for maintaining class sizes, supporting athletics, and attracting and retaining teacher. The district will be required by law to submit an annual written report that shows the amount of funds collected and expended, and the projects being funded by the tax.