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Tuesday March 3, 2020 — Primary Election
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City of El Monte
Measure PC - 2/3 Approval Required

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Election Results


7,680 votes yes (71.48%)

3,064 votes no (28.52%)

To fund El Monte public safety, parks, recreation, and youth programs including: after-school programs; youth recreation; addiction prevention; community policing; and park improvements, shall a gross receipts tax be adopted for cannabis businesses up to 9% for retail, up to 6% for cultivation and manufacturing, and up to 5% for distribution and laboratory testing to raise approximately $3,500,000 annually?

What is this proposal?

Details — Official information

Impartial analysis / Proposal

Rick R. Olivarez, City Attorney

The City of El Monte City Council has submitted a special tax measure to its voters entitled: Cannabis Business Tax for Public Safety, Parks and Youth Programs ("Measure"). The Measure would add Chapter 3.30 (Cannabis Business Tax) to the City Code to impose a gross receipts tax on commercial cannabis businesses operating within the City ("Cannabis Tax").

As a special tax, Cannabis Tax proceeds would be deposited into a separate City account to be used solely and exclusively for:

-  City public safety uses, services, and programs, including, but not limited to: the Transient Outreach Using Community Hands (TOUCH) homeless outreach program; the augmentation of special investigations related to violent and narcotic related criminal activity; the Teaching Obedience Respect Courage and Honor (TORCH) community-based program; the Volunteers Caring and Patrolling (VCAP) community-based program; public safety equipment (e.g. surveillance cameras); public safety staffing; youth diversion programs; drug abuse prevention and education; and

-  City parks, recreation, and youth uses, services, and programs, including, but not limited to: after-school programming; parks maintenance and improvement; new park development; youth, teen, and adult sports; senior services; summer teen programs; and education and job training.

The Cannabis Tax would be due and payable by businesses in quarterly installments. The City would have authority to audit and examine all financial records. Interest and penalties would apply for nonpayment of the Cannabis Tax. The City would be required to publish an annual report indicating Cannabis Tax revenue, expenditures, and the status of projects funded by the Cannabis Tax.

For retailers of cannabis or cannabis products, the Measure would impose a 5% Cannabis Tax on gross receipt sales. The Measure would authorize the City Council to increase or decrease the Cannabis Tax rate for retailers, not to exceed 9%.

For commercial cannabis cultivation, the Measure would levy a 3% Cannabis Tax on gross receipts and authorize the City Council to increase or decrease the Cannabis Tax rate for cultivators, not to exceed 6%.

The Measure would establish a 3% Cannabis Tax on gross receipts for commercial cannabis manufacturing and authorize the City Council to increase or decrease the Cannabis Tax rate for manufacturers, not to exceed 6%.

For commercial cannabis distribution, the Measure would impose a 2% Cannabis Tax on gross receipts and authorize the City Council to increase or decrease the Cannabis Tax rate for distributors, not to exceed 5%.

The Measure would establish a 2% Cannabis Tax on gross receipts for commercial cannabis laboratory testing and authorize the City Council to increase or decrease the Cannabis Tax rate for laboratories, not to exceed 5%.

Two-thirds (66.67%) majority of votes cast is necessary to approve the Measure. 

A "yes" vote would approve the Cannabis Tax.

A "no" vote would reject the Cannabis Tax.

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against

Arguments FOR

Dear El Monte Voter:
You are being asked to consider Measure PC, a special tax on cannabis. As you may be aware, in 2016, voters passed Proposition 64 which legalized cannabis in the State of California. On December 3, 2019, the City Council of the City of El Monte voted to place Measure PC on the ballot. If commercial cannabis becomes legal in El Monte, either by a vote of the people, action by the City Council or by mandate from the State of California, this tax will apply to activities within the City limits.

If Measure PC passes, the tax ONLY applies to businesses that grow, manufacture or sell cannabis products. Whether you agree or not with the legalization of cannabis, a YES vote guarantees that these products will be taxed. If the tax is enacted, any revenues generated from the tax will be spent on specific services. Measure PC is a special tax and a special tax can only be spent on specific services.

During recent City Council meetings, many residents expressed concerns about the safety of cannabis products and public safety in general. While crime has been down the last 24 months, our Police Chief recommends allocating resources generated by this tax to crime prevention programs, youth diversion programs, strict enforcement of illegal drug operations and gang enforcement. Additionally, City staff recommends designating funds to improve public parks, increase after school youth recreation programs and to provide addiction prevention programs.

A YES vote on Measure PC will generate approximately $3.5 million dollars to augment and improve designated City services. The City will provide an annual report card to show how these funds are being spent. I urge you to vote yes on Measure PC.

Respectfully submitted for your consideration by Mayor Andre Quintero.

Mayor, City of El Monte

Arguments AGAINST

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