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March 3, 2020 — Primary Election
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Local

City of Duarte
Measure D - 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

Passing

2,800 votes yes (54.85%)

2,305 votes no (45.15%)

Shall the measure to maintain general City services such as 911 emergency response times, sheriff's neighborhood and school patrols; prevent thefts and burglaries; prepare for future wildfires and mud flows; protect local drinking water sources; repair streets and potholes; address homelessness; maintain senior, youth and afterschool programs; approving an ordinance establishing a 3/4¢ sales tax providing approximately $2,600,000 annually until ended by voters; requiring independent audits and all funds benefiting Duarte residents, be adopted?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

Impartial analysis / Proposal

David B. Cosgrove, Duarte City Attorney

Measure D would adopt a general transactions and use tax in the City of Duarte at the rate of three-quarters of a cent for every dollar spent (0.75¢). This kind of tax is often called a "sales" tax. The money from this tax would go into the City's general fund and could be used for any lawful City purpose, including but not limited to: 9-1-1 emergency response times; sheriff's neighborhood and school patrols; prevention of theft and burglaries; preparation for wildfires and mud flows; protection of local drinking water sources; street repairs; addressing homelessness; and programs to serve seniors and young people.

The tax would be in addition to existing state and local sales taxes and would be collected along with them. It would only apply to purchases subject to sales taxes. For example, purchases of prescription drugs and most food would not be taxed.

The tax has no expiration date, but voters could reduce or repeal it at any election. Measure D is subject to an independent audit of City receipts from the tax and how they are spent each year. The Council must discuss the audit results at a public meeting each year and post them on the City's website.

A "yes" vote supports imposing the tax; a "no" vote opposes the tax. A simple majority of votes (50% plus 1) will pass or defeat the measure.

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

VOTE YES on D Duarte Public Safety/Essential Services Measure

KEEP TAX DOLLARS IN DUARTE. PROTECT PUBLIC SAFETY and COMMUNITY SERVICES. Voting yes will generate approximately $2.6 million annually. This money will support our public safety, infrastructure maintenance, and community programs, allowing us to continue providing the excellent service expected by our residents. But if the measure fails, L.A. County or other agencies can ask voters to approve up to a 3/4 cent sales tax for other purposes and Duarte will have lost $2.6 million annually. Arcadia, El Monte, Glendora, Monrovia, and Pasadena have approved similar measures to raise revenues and protect public safety and community programs.

Duarte is recognized for its unmatched community services that make the City a great place to live, work and conduct business. As the City of Health, the health of our community depends greatly on our ability to continue providing high-quality community services that are essential to our daily lives.

Sustaining our quality of life despite service and program reductions since the Great Recession of 2008 has not been easy. Coupled with state funding reductions, Duarte cut approximately $2 million in services and has deferred $1.5 million in improvement and maintenance of City property. The City renegotiated labor agreements with its employees to reduce pension, retirement benefits and medical insurance costs, implemented an unpaid vacation program, and eliminated 12 staff positions.

But savings alone won't do the job! The City will deplete its reserves within five years and will have to cut close to 10% of the overall budget if the situation continues. 

VOTE YES TO:

Raise approximately $2.6 million annually for essential city services:

PROTECT PUBLIC SAFETY, INFRASTRUCTURE, PARKS and COMMUNITY PROGRAMS

-  ENSURE ALL FUNDS to be spent in DUARTE

REQUIRE ANNUAL INDEPENDENT FINANCIAL AUDITS

TZEITEL PARAS-CARACCI
Mayor, City of Duarte

Arguments AGAINST

Measure D is BAD FOR LOW-INCOME FAMILIES AND SMALL BUSINESSES. If this regressive tax passes, this tax will disproportionately hit low-income families who already struggle to live in Duarte. It will devastate small, locally-owned retailers, potentially costing them lost sales, and putting some of them out of business.

CITY HALL CANNOT BE TRUSTED TO DO THE RIGHT THING.

VOTE NO on Measure D

In June 2019, the City Council declared a fiscal emergency with a budget deficit of $1.2 million. They say we desperately need to increase our sales tax to provide essential services. And yet at every Council meeting since the day the City Council declared a fiscal emergency, budget amendments have been approved by the City Council, increasing our spending and further increasing our deficit, our debt.

If we need money so desperately, why are we not cutting our spending? Instead we are continuing to increase it.

CITY HALL CANNOT BE TRUSTED.

VOTE NO on Measure D

City Hall has consistently demonstrated they cannot be trusted to make good decisions or to spend our tax dollars wisely. Please support our small businesses and keep Duarte affordable for everyone by voting NO on Measure D.

HENRY BALTAZAR
Resident

Replies to Arguments FOR

Vote no on measure D

Why do they always use reducing public safety and community services as a scare tactic to get you, the voter, to increase taxes?
It's always been the easy way out to tax the Duarte consumer.

Business raises sales tax. This City Council has never agressively pursued bringing new business into Duarte, as shown by the vacancies along Huntington Drive. Instead, once again, the burden of a regressive tax is being passed onto the backs of the Duarte consumer.

Remember when the City Council unnecessarily declared a fiscal emergency in June of 2019? They have since approved spending of an additional $454,539 in 'budget ammendments'. They call it 'budget amendments', I call it irresponsible overspending.

The mayor claims in her statement that historically the City Council has reduced staffing. Historically, we had five council members. Today we have seven. Two new districts were gerrymandered into the city to allow all council members to keep their seats. The cost of two additional council members, a council aide, benefits, and staff to support a 7 member city council surpasses $100,000. More irresponsible spending at our expense for their benefit.

Instead of doing things to fiscally decrease spending, they've done the opposite. For years they've given us promises with no results. Don't be fooled by their scare tactics, hold them accountable for their actions.

Vote no on measure D

HENRY BALTAZAR
Resident

Replies to Arguments AGAINST

Vote Yes on Measure D to maintain public safety and services in Duarte.

Food, health care, medicines, and utilities are exempt from sales tax under California law.

Monrovia and Arcadia already passed sales tax increases - Duarte residents will pay the increased sales tax when shopping at Home Depot in Monrovia or Macy's in Arcadia. Those taxes will benefit Monrovia and Arcadia residents and businesses, not Duarte. When Arcadia and Monrovia residents shop in stores such as Target or WalMart in Duarte, it is equally fair that they pay the tax and contribute to Duarte's fiscal health. 70% of the $2.6 million that will be raised each year, if voters approve Measure D, will come from people living outside Duarte.

A sixteen-member Finance Advisory Committee reviewed Duarte's existing and projected budget. Most members agreed that Measure D is needed to continue the high levels of public safety and services that residents enjoy. In fact, Measure D received more support than the various recommendations to cut services. Without Measure D, cuts will be drastic and visible.

Residents and businesses benefit from public safety, clean streets, beautiful parks, strong community services, and programs for seniors and youth that enhance community involvement and the value of our properties. 

Your vote for Measure D is a vote for competitive services with our neighboring communities that will protect property values, and make sure we have a safe beautiful community with quality services that people expect.

Protect Duarte's Future.

Vote Yes on Measure D. 

TZEITEL PARAS-CARACCI
Mayor, City of Duarte

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