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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
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Local

City of Santa Monica
Measure GS - Majority Approval Required

To learn more about measures, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.

Election Results

Passed

29,163 votes yes (70.18%)

12,391 votes no (29.82%)

100% of precincts reporting (54/54).

If a local transactions and use tax is enacted in Santa Monica, should half its revenue be used to improve and maintain local public schools, including attracting and retaining high-quality teachers, expanding access to pre-schools, assisting at-risk students, and improving school technology, arts, music, math, and science instruction; and half to help preserve and ensure housing in Santa Monica that is affordable, protect residents from displacement by rising housing costs, and reduce homelessness?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

Background

For a concise breakdown see the FAQ at the bottom of the page at: http://www.smvote.org/BallotMeasures/detail.aspx?id=53687094541

Impartial analysis / Proposal

 

CITY ATTORNEY’S IMPARTIAL ANALYSIS OF MEASURE GS

     ADVISORY MEASURE ON USE OF REVENUES FROM THE TRANSACTIONS AND USE TAX INCREASE


This is an advisory measure placed on the ballot by the City Council.  It relates to, but is separate from, the Transaction and Use Tax Measure that is on the same ballot.  That Transaction and Use Tax measure would increase by one-half percent (1/2%), the City’s current Transaction and Use Tax, which is collected on the sale of goods that are not exempt from sales taxes.   A separate impartial analysis has been prepared for the Transaction and Use Tax Measure.
This advisory measure allows voters to provide advice to the City Council on how voters prefer the additional tax revenues to be used if the voters approve the proposed change in the Transaction and Use Tax.  Specifically, this advisory measure asks whether half of the additional revenue should be used to improve and maintain local public schools and whether half of the additional revenue should be used to improve and maintain affordable housing, protect residents from housing displacement and reduce homelessness.  It is anticipated that the tax increase if adopted by the voters would raise revenue by approximately $16 Million annually.  

Because this measure is advisory, its passage would not legally require the City Council to expend the revenues in any particular way.  Instead, the advisory measure would supply information to the City Council about how the voters prefer any additional revenues are to be spent.

MARSHA JONES MOUTRIE, City Attorney

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF MEASURE GS 

Vote Yes on Measure GS

Santa Monica is a special place to live. We all take pride in our wonderful community. We have exciting opportunities, but we also face serious challenges. It has become difficult for many longtime residents to afford to stay here.  And, limited State funding challenges our schools.  Measures GSH & GS are a package of measures that work together to help address these issues. 

Together, Measure GSH & Measure GS provide funding to be shared equally between our local public schools -- an essential resource for Santa Monica families -- as well as proven programs to protect renters, seniors and working families from losing their homes and falling into homelessness and to provide housing for struggling low-income residents.

Tourists and visitors will contribute a large share of this revenue. 

Our terrific local public schools operate on inadequate budgets and face uncertain State funding every year.  Measure GSH and Measure GS will provide locally-controlled funds for our schools that State government cannot touch. This funding will help maintain rigorous academic programs, prepare students for college and high-demand careers, and help ensure safe, 21st century learning environments.

State government also recently eliminated funding Santa Monica used for affordable housing.  Measure GSH and Measure GS will provide locally-controlled funds to help rent-burdened residents, often seniors, stay in their homes through their golden years, and help local workers find homes near jobs -- strengthening both our community’s diversity and economy while reducing traffic.

Measure GSH tells our City Council – and future City Councils – we want to protect and maintain both exceptional schools and a diverse community for all Santa Monicans.

Join EDUCATION LEADERS, AFFORDABLE HOUSING and HOMELESS ADVOCATES, and BUSINESS AND CIVIC LEADERS in voting YES on both Measures GSH and GS. We need both to pass to protect our schools and our residents.

 /s/ Sarah Braff, President, Santa Monica-Malibu Classroom Teachers Association
/s/ Michael Soloff, Chair, Santa Monica Housing Commission
/s/ Jenniffer Smith, President, Santa Monica-Malibu Council of PTAs
/s/ Patricia Hoffman, Co-chair, Santa Monicans for Renters Rights
/s/ Barry Seid, District Coordinator, AARP

Arguments AGAINST

 

ARGUMENT AGAINST MEASURE GS

The city has promised housing to teachers, first responders, city workers and seniors to get your vote in past elections but never delivered. City-funded housing has gone to non-Santa Monica residents. This pattern will continue.
Giving City Hall a blank check to build large, high-density developments of any kind, anywhere in the City is a mistake.

You have no say where these projects are sited. No say in their size. No say in their design. No say in the density/numbers of units. Your right to review, comment and object has been taken away by those now wanting your tax dollars to build their pet projects.

The City zoning code gives developers of these buildings height and density bonuses plus reduced parking requirements. Large, over-crowed, under parked projects will be common in your neighborhood.

Stop over development and taxing yourself to pay for it! Vote NO!

The City has huge pension obligations that, as a matter of law, they HAVE TO fund. This advisory is non-binding and will become an empty promise at the City Council’s whim.

Don’t believe false promises. Vote NO!

/s/ Roberto Rodriguez, Santa Monica Renter
/s/ Clara Benrey, Retired School Teacher
/s/ Donald Gray, Former Chair, Pico Neighborhood Assn.
/s/ Scott Kelso, Union Member
/s/ Robert Kronovet, Former Rent Board Commissioner

Replies to Arguments FOR

REBUTTAL TO ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF MEASURE GS

Vote No on GS. The Giant Structure Initiative!
Giant buildings will be everywhere - San Vicente, Montana, Wilshire, Ocean Park - you name it. And, it will be current renters who are displaced as their buildings are torn down to make way for these new projects

There is no halo on this anything goes, over-development scheme.

We have already paid, in the declining quality of our daily life as thousands of new housing and commercial units go up only to over-crowd Santa Monica. And, now they ask us to pay, with our checkbooks, to build more!

Your tax dollars will be used solely to fund City Hall’s favorite developers in producing large, high-density projects anywhere City Hall wants. 

The City has taken away your right to review or protest all development funded by this tax. It will be built in your immediate proximity - you cannot object. 

In the past, the City promised “housing” for our community - teachers, first responders, disabled people, even seniors- but never delivered

City projects are built for non-residents who have no connection to Santa Monica. Now the City even claims these projects will “reduce” traffic!! Really? Do you believe that?

Say no to City Hall - no blank check to build large, high-density developments of any kind, wherever the bureaucrats want.

/s/ Roberto Rodriguez, Santa Monica Renter
/s/ Scott Kelso, Union Member
/s/ Donald Gray, Former Chair, Pico Neighborhood Assn.
/s/ Clara Benrey, Retired School Teacher
/s/ Robert Kronovet, Former Rent Board Commissioner

Replies to Arguments AGAINST

REBUTTAL TO ARGUMENT AGAINST MEASURE GS

Opponents of Measures GS & GSH are the same people who oppose every school funding and affordable housing initiative, and they have their facts wrong  – wildly wrong.  
 

Measures GS & GSH have NOTHING to do with relaxing development standards or making parking worse
 

FACT: Voting YES on Measures GS & GSH directs our City government to help ensure great schools and affordable housing in Santa Monica.  
 

FACT:  Measures GS & GSH provide local funding to improve classroom instruction, support great teachers and maintain our local schools.   
 

FACT:  Measures GS & GSH provide local funding to assist long-term residents from losing their homes due to rising rents. Measures GS & GSH also will help build and renovate existing buildings to provide affordable housing for Santa Monica families and residents.
 

FACT: The state government has taken millions of dollars from Santa Monica and other cities and depleted funds for both schools and affordable housing programs.  
 

FACT:  Without locally controlled funds, Santa Monica schools will be forced to make cuts in programs. And school facility repairs and upgrades will only become more costly as the state provides little to no school facility maintenance funding. 
 

FACT: Without Measures GS & GSH Santa Monica families in need of affordable housing will not get the assistance they need.

Please vote Yes on Measures GS & GSH to protect Santa Monica schools, families and senior citizens and support the diversity and quality of life that make our city a great place to live.

VOTE YES on Measures GS & GSH.


/s/ Sarah Braff, President, Santa Monica-Malibu Classroom Teachers Association
/s/ Michael Soloff, Chair, Santa Monica Housing Commission
/s/ Jennifer Smith, President, Santa Monica-Malibu Council of PTAs
/s/ Patricia Hoffman, Co-chair, Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights
/s/ Barry Seid, District Coordinator, AARP

Read the proposed legislation

Proposed legislation

AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SANTA MONICA ENACTING A ONE-HALF PERCENT INCREASE IN THE TRANSACTION AND USE TAX, TO BE ADMINISTERED BY THE STATE BOARD OF EQUALIZATION, SUBJECT TO ADOPTION BY THE ELECTORATE

WHEREAS, all redevelopment agencies in California, including the Santa Monica Redevelopment Agency, were dissolved on February 1, 2012; and

 

WHEREAS, the Santa Monica Redevelopment Agency generated nearly $40 million per year that was used for Santa Monica community priorities such as seismic safety improvements to public buildings, affordable housing, and capital improvements; and

 

WHEREAS, the dissolution of the Santa Monica Redevelopment Agency severely diminished the funds available to address Santa Monica community priorities; and

 

WHEREAS, many residents live in the City of Santa Monica because the City invests in community priorities, offering extensive services and programs that substantially enhance  quality of life; and

 

WHEREAS, residents depend upon the City to continue to protect their quality of life and effectuate community priorities, but with the loss of redevelopment funds, the City must seek other resources; and

 

WHEREAS, creating and preserving local revenue sources will help ensure that the City can maintain and improve the quality of life that residents expect and effectuate community priorities; and

 

WHEREAS, the City adopted a transaction and use tax ordinance on July 13, 2013, which authorized the City to impose a retail transaction and use tax in the amount of one-half of one percent of the gross receipts of any retailer from the sale of all tangible personal property sold at retail within the territory of the City; and

 

WHEREAS, increasing the City's transaction and use tax by one-half percent would partially fill the revenue gap left by the loss of redevelopment funds; and

 

WHEREAS, all City revenues are subject to annual independent audits with public review of the City Budget being widely available, including at City Hall, on-line and at the public libraries; and

 

WHEREAS, in accordance with the provisions of California Revenue and Taxation Code Parts 1.6 and 1.7, Sections 7251 et seq. and Section 7285.9, the City of Santa Monica is authorized to enact a transaction and use tax; and

 

WHEREAS, the City of Santa Monica proposes to enact a one-half-percent increase in the transaction and use tax as permitted by law; and

 

WHEREAS, under applicable law, to enact a transaction and use tax, the City Council of the City of Santa Monica must adopt the transaction and use tax ordinance and the electorate of the City of Santa Monica must also adopt it upon majority vote at an election.

 

NOW, THEREFORE, the City Council of the City of Santa Monica does ordain as follows:

 

SECTION 1. Chapter 6.62 of the Santa Monica Municipal Code is amended to read as follows: 

 

TRANSACTIONS AND USE TAX 

 

            Section 6.62.010  TITLE 

 

            This ordinance shall be known as the City of Santa Monica Transactions and Use Tax Ordinance. 

 

            Section 6.62.020  DEFINITIONS   

 

            The following words and phrases shall be defined as set forth in this Ordinance, except that any term or phrase not defined in this Ordinance shall have the same meaning as that term or phrase is defined in Parts 1.6 and 1.7 of the State of California Revenue and Taxation Code:

 

(a)      “City” means the City of Santa Monica

 

(b)      “Operative date” means the first day of the first calendar quarter commencing more than 110 days after the adoption of this ordinance by vote of the electorate on November 2, 2010 8, 2016.

 

(c)      “Ordinance” means the City of Santa Monica Transactions and Use Tax Ordinance.

 

(d)      “State” means the State of California.

 

Section  6.62.030           PURPOSE

 

            This Ordinance is adopted to achieve the following, among other purposes, and the Ordinance shall be interpreted liberally in order to accomplish all of its lawful purposes:

 

            A.        To impose a retail transactions and use tax to be applied throughout the entire territory of the City to the fullest extent permitted by law and in accordance with the provisions of the California Revenue and Taxation Code Sections 7251 et seq., and 7285.9, which authorizes the City to adopt this Ordinance if a majority of the electors voting on the measure vote to approve the imposition of the tax at an election called for that purpose.

 

            B.        To adopt a retail transactions and use tax ordinance that incorporates provisions identical to those of the Sales and Use Tax Law of the State of California insofar as those provisions are not inconsistent with the requirements and limitations contained in Part 1.6 of Division 2 of the California Revenue and Taxation Code.

 

            C.        To adopt a retail transactions and use tax ordinance that imposes a tax and provides a measure that can be administered and collected by the State Board of Equalization in a manner that adapts itself as fully as practicable to, and requires the least possible deviation from, the existing statutory and administrative procedures followed by the State Board of Equalization in administering and collecting the California State Sales and Use Taxes.

 

            D.        To adopt a retail transactions and use tax ordinance that can be administered in a manner that will be, to the greatest degree possible, consistent with the provisions of Part 1.6 of Division 2 of the California Revenue and Taxation Code, minimize the cost of collecting the transactions and use taxes, and at the same time, minimize the burden of record keeping upon persons subject to taxation under the provisions of this ordinance.

 

            E.        To provide transactions and use tax revenue to the City to be used for the general governmental purposes of the City and with any transactions and use tax revenue received being placed into the City’s general fund.

 

            Section  6.62.040.    CONTRACT WITH STATE

 

            Prior to the Operative Date, the City shall contract with the State Board of Equalization to perform all functions incident to the administration and operation of this Ordinance; provided, that if the City shall not have contracted with the State Board of Equalization prior to the Operative Date, it shall nevertheless so contract and in such a case the operative date shall be the first day of the first calendar quarter following the execution of such a contract.

 

            Section 6.62.050      TRANSACTIONS TAX RATE

 

            For the privilege of selling tangible personal property at retail, a transactions tax is imposed upon all retailers in the incorporated territory of the City at the rate of 0.50%1% of the gross receipts of any retailer from the sale of all tangible personal property sold at retail within the territory of the City on and after the Operative Date of this Ordinance. 

 

            Section 6.62.060      PLACE OF SALE 

 

            For the purposes of this Ordinance, all retail sales are consummated at the place of business of the retailer unless the tangible personal property sold is delivered by the retailer or his or her agent to an out-of-state destination or to a common carrier for delivery to an out-of-state destination.  The gross receipts from the sale shall include delivery charges, when such charges are subject to the state sales and use tax, regardless of the place to which delivery is made.  In the event a retailer has no permanent place of business in the State or has more than one place of business, the place or places at which the retail sales are consummated shall be determined under rules and regulations to be prescribed and adopted by the State Board of Equalization.

 

            Section 6.62.070      USE TAX RATE

 

             An excise tax is hereby imposed on the storage, use or other consumption in the City of tangible personal property purchased from any retailer on and after the Operative Date of this Ordinance for storage, use or other consumption in the territory of the City at the rate of 0.50% 1% of the sales price of the property.  The sales price shall include delivery charges when such charges are subject to State sales or use tax regardless of the place to which delivery is made.

 

            Section 6.62.080      ADOPTION OF PROVISIONS OF STATE LAW

 

            Except as otherwise provided in this Ordinance, and except insofar as they are inconsistent with the provisions of Part 1.6 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, all of the provisions of Part 1 (commencing with Section 6001) of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code are adopted, incorporated and made a part of this Ordinance as though fully set forth in it.

            Section  6.62.090    LIMITATIONS ON ADOPTION OF STATE LAW AND COLLECTION OF USE TAXES

            In adopting the provisions of Part 1 of Division 2 of the California Revenue and Taxation Code:

                        A.        Wherever the State of California is named or referred to as the taxing agency, the name of the City of Santa Monica shall be substituted.  However, the substitution shall not be made when:

                        1.  The word "State" is used as a part of the title of the State Controller, State Treasurer, State Board of Control, State Board of Equalization, State Treasury, or the Constitution of the State of California;

                        2.  The result of the substitution would require action to be taken by or against the City or any agency, officer, or employee thereof rather than by or against the State Board of Equalization, in performing the functions incident to the administration or operation of this Ordinance;

                        3.  In those sections, including, but not necessarily limited to sections referring to the exterior boundaries of the State of California, where the result of the substitution would be to:

                        a.  Provide an exemption from the taxes of this Ordinance with respect to certain sales, storage, use or other consumption of tangible personal property which would not otherwise be exempt from the tax while such sales, storage, use or other consumption remain subject to tax by the State under the provisions of Part 1 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, or;

                        b.  Impose this tax with respect to certain sales, storage, use or other consumption of tangible personal property which would not be subject to tax by the state under the said provision of that code.

                        4.         In Sections 6701, 6702 (except in the last sentence thereof), 6711, 6715, 6737, 6797 or 6828 of the California Revenue and Taxation Code.

                        B.        The word "City" shall be substituted for the word "State" in the phrase "retailer engaged in business in this State" in Section 6203 and in the definition of that phrase in Section 6203.

            Section 6.62.100      PERMIT NOT REQUIRED

            If a seller's permit has been issued to a retailer under Section 6067 of the California Revenue and Taxation Code, an additional transactor's permit shall not be required by this Ordinance.

            Section 6.62.110      EXEMPTIONS AND EXCLUSIONS 

                        A.        There shall be excluded from the measure of the transactions tax and the use tax the amount of any sales tax or use tax imposed by the State of California or by any city, city and county, or county pursuant to the Bradley-Burns Uniform Local Sales and Use Tax Law or the amount of any state-administered transactions or use tax.

                        B.        There are exempted from the computation of the amount of transactions tax the gross receipts from:

                        1.         Sales of tangible personal property, other than fuel or petroleum products, to operators of aircraft to be used or consumed principally outside the county in which the sale is made and directly and exclusively in the use of such aircraft as common carriers of persons or property under the authority of the laws of this State, the United States, or any foreign government;

                        2.         Sales of property to be used outside the City, which is shipped to a point outside the City pursuant to the contract of sale by delivery to such point by the retailer or his agent, or by delivery by the retailer to a carrier for shipment to a consignee at such point.  For the purposes of this paragraph, delivery to a point outside the City shall be satisfied:

                        a.         With respect to vehicles (other than commercial vehicles) subject to registration pursuant to Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 4000) of Division 3 of the Vehicle Code, aircraft licensed in compliance with Section 21411 of the Public Utilities Code, and undocumented vessels registered under Division 3.5 (commencing with Section 9840) of the Vehicle Code by registration to an out-of-City address and by a declaration under penalty of perjury, signed by the buyer, stating that such address is, in fact, his or her principal place of residence; and

                        b.         With respect to commercial vehicles, by registration to a place of business out-of-City and declaration under penalty of perjury, signed by the buyer, that the vehicle will be operated from that address.

                        3.         The sale of tangible personal property if the seller is obligated to furnish the property for a fixed price pursuant to a contract entered into prior to the operative date of this Ordinance.

                        4.         A lease of tangible personal property which is a continuing sale of such property, for any period of time for which the lessor is obligated to lease the property for an amount fixed by the lease prior to the operative date of this Ordinance.

                        5.         For the purposes of subparagraphs (3) and (4) of this section, the sale or lease of tangible personal property shall be deemed not to be obligated pursuant to a contract or lease for any period of time for which any party to the contract or lease has the unconditional right to terminate the contract or lease upon notice, whether or not such right is exercised.

                        C.        There are exempted from the use tax imposed by this Ordinance, the storage, use or other consumption in this City of tangible personal property:

                        1.         The gross receipts from the sale of which have been subject to a transactions tax under any state-administered transactions and use tax ordinance;

                        2.         Other than fuel or petroleum products purchased by operators of aircraft and used or consumed by such operators directly and exclusively in the use of such aircraft as common carriers of persons or property for hire or compensation under a certificate of public convenience and necessity issued pursuant to the laws of this State, the United States, or any foreign government.  This exemption is in addition to the exemptions provided in Sections 6366 and 6366.1 of the Revenue and Taxation Code of the State of California;

                        3.         If the purchaser is obligated to purchase the property for a fixed price pursuant to a contract entered into prior to the Operative Date of this Ordinance;

                        4.         If the possession of, or the exercise of any right or power over, the tangible personal property arises under a lease which is a continuing purchase of such property for any period of time for which the lessee is obligated to lease the property for an amount fixed by a lease prior to the Operative Date of this Ordinance.

                        5.         For the purposes of subparagraphs (3) and (4) of this section, storage, use, or other consumption, or possession of, or exercise of any right or power over, tangible personal property shall be deemed not to be obligated pursuant to a contract or lease for any period of time for which any party to the contract or lease has the unconditional right to terminate the contract or lease upon notice, whether or not such right is exercised.

                        6.         Except as provided in subparagraph (7), a retailer engaged in business in the City shall not be required to collect use tax from the purchaser of tangible personal property, unless the retailer ships or delivers the property into the City or participates within the City in making the sale of the property, including, but not limited to, soliciting or receiving the order, either directly or indirectly, at a place of business of the retailer in the City or through any representative, agent, canvasser, solicitor, subsidiary, or person in the City under the authority of the retailer.

                        7.         "A retailer engaged in business in the City" shall also include any retailer of any of the following:  vehicles subject to registration pursuant to Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 4000) of Division 3 of the Vehicle Code, aircraft licensed in compliance with Section 21411 of the Public Utilities Code, or undocumented vessels registered under Division 3.5 (commencing with Section 9840) of the Vehicle Code. That retailer shall be required to collect use tax from any purchaser who registers or licenses the vehicle, vessel, or aircraft at an address in the City.

                        D.        Any person subject to use tax under this ordinance may credit against that tax any transactions tax or reimbursement for transactions tax paid to a district imposing, or retailer liable for a transactions tax pursuant to Part 1.6 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code with respect to the sale to the person of the property the storage, use or other consumption of which is subject to the use tax.

            Section 6.62.120      AMENDMENTS      

            All amendments subsequent to the effective date of this ordinance to Part 1 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code relating to sales and use taxes and which are not inconsistent with Part 1.6 and Part 1.7 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, and all amendments to Part 1.6 and Part 1.7 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, shall automatically become adopted and a part of this Ordinance without further action of the City Council of the City of Santa Monica or the City’s electorate, provided however, that no such amendment shall operate so as to affect the rate of tax imposed by this Ordinance.  The City Council may amend this Ordinance to comply with applicable law or as may be otherwise necessary in order to further the Ordinance’s stated purposes.

            Section 6.62.130      PROHIBITION ON ENJOINING COLLECTION 

            No injunction or writ of mandate or other legal or equitable process shall issue in any suit, action or proceeding in any court against the State or the City, or against any officer of the State or the City, to prevent or enjoin the collection under this Ordinance, or Part 1.6 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, of any tax or any amount of tax required to be collected under this Ordinance.

            Section 6.62.140      SEVERABILITY

            If any provision of this Ordinance or the application of it to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the Ordinance and the application of such provision to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby.

            Section 6.62.150      EFFECTIVE DATE

            This Ordinance relates to the levying and collecting of a transactions and use tax and shall take effect without second reading by the City Council of the City of Santa Monica in accordance with the City Charter Section 619 (c), except that also in accordance with applicable law, no tax imposed by this Ordinance shall take effect unless this Ordinance is adopted by the electorate at an election to be held on November 2, 2010 8, 2016.

 

SECTION 2.  Any provisions of the Santa Monica Municipal Code or appendices thereto inconsistent with the provisions of this Ordinance, to the extent of such inconsistencies and no further, is hereby repealed or modified to that extent necessary to effect the provisions of this Ordinance.

 

 

SECTION 3. The Mayor shall sign and the City Clerk shall attest to the passage of this Ordinance.  The City Clerk shall cause the same to be published once in the official newspaper within 15 days after its adoption.

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