Local Measure to Provide Funding for City Services
by By Martin Nelis, Public Information Officer, City of Pleasant Hill
Jul 27, 2010 | 1556 views | 0 0 comments | 41 41 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The City of Pleasant Hill Places Utility Users Tax Measure on November Ballot

The City of Pleasant Hill provides a number of important local services for community residents and businesses, including such programs as road maintenance and public safety. These local services help to enhance the quality of life in Pleasant Hill and ensure that all residents enjoy a safe, attractive, and well maintained community. Funding for these services, however, has declined in recent years.

Local city services are funded by revenues from such sources as sales tax, property tax, hotel tax, vehicle license fees, and others. Sales tax revenue accounts for one third of the City’s general fund revenue and last year declined by 16%. In addition, vehicle license fees declined by 63%, building permit fees by 31%, transient occupancy tax revenue by 18%, business license fees by 9%, and property tax revenues by 8%. The State also took away almost $2 million of redevelopment funds from the City.

In response to these revenue declines, the City has reduced the number of its employees by 20% and made cuts where possible while continuing to maintain the high level of services that businesses and residents have come to expect. However, without additional local funding, the current level of services will be difficult to sustain.

To protect local services, the City of Pleasant Hill has placed a local funding measure on the November ballot. If passed by voters, the measure will expand the local Utility Users Tax (UUT) to provide additional revenue for city services.

Local Funding Measure

Pleasant Hill currently has a 1% UUT on landline telephones. This rate is the lowest of any Bay Area city. The measure proposes a rate increase from 1% to 1.5% and will expand the UUT to cover communications (including long distance telephone and cellular phone and data services), cable TV, gas, electric, water and sewer services.

Protecting City Services

The current UUT provides approximately $189,000 per year to support local services. The proposed UUT measure would generate an estimated $1.02 million to support a number of important city services, such as:

• Maintaining neighborhood police patrols and rapid emergency response times

• Maintaining street resurfacing and pothole repair programs

• Keeping the city clean, well maintained and free of litter and graffiti

• Maintaining library hours and services

Enhancing Local Control

Every penny generated by the local UUT measure will stay within our community to support Pleasant Hill City services. The State cannot take away any of the funds. Annual audits and public reports will be mandatory, so local residents can be sure that all funds are spent appropriately.

Average Cost per Household

The proposed UUT rate would apply equally to all businesses and households in Pleasant Hill. To estimate the average cost, business owners and residents should calculate their total monthly utility costs for telephone, cable TV, gas & electric, and water services, then multiply that number by 1.5%. This amount will be the average monthly cost of the UUT.

For example, a household with total monthly utility bill costs of:

• $400 would pay an additional $6 per month

• $600 would pay an additional $9 per month

• $800 would pay an additional $12 per month

Exemptions from the UUT

To help ensure the cost is not a burden to those living on a fixed income, the proposed UUT measure provides for specific exemptions, when available. Seniors facing financial hardship may be eligible to apply for a rebate or exemption. This is in addition to the exemptions already included in the CARE program through PG&E, and Lifeline Programs available for telephone and water service users.

More details about the proposed UUT measure can be found on the City website at www.pleasant-hill.net/UUT. If you have any questions please contact Martin Nelis at mnelis@ci.pleasant-hill.ca.us or by phone at 925-671-5229.

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