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Tuesday November 3, 2020 — California General Election
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City of Newark
Measure PP - 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


13,419 votes yes (71.77%)

5,277 votes no (28.23%)

100% of precincts reporting (6/6).

To maintain critical City services, including 911 emergency response/fire protection/public safety; streets/pothole repair; parks/recreation; neighborhood police patrols, crime prevention, drug/gang-prevention programs; and other city services; shall the measure extending the City of Newark's existing voter-approved utility users tax 9 years at the current 3.25% rate, providing $2,750,000 annually, exempting seniors and low-income residents, requiring audits, with no increase in tax rate and no money for Sacramento, be adopted?

What is this proposal?

Details — Official information

Impartial analysis / Proposal



The City Council of the City of Newark is submitting to the voters the question of whether to approve an ordinance that would extend an existing three and one-quarter percent (3.25%) Utility Users Tax (“UUT”) on telecommunication (including landline telephone and cell phone services), video (including cable television), and electricity and gas services within the City.  The UUT is based upon the amount charged by each service provider for the services used.  

If approved, Measure __ would continue the existing UUT first approved by voters in 2010, and extended by voters at a decreased rate in 2014, for an additional nine years until December 31, 2029, without a tax rate increase.   

Because Measure __ does not limit the use of UUT revenue, it is a “general tax,” and the funds provided are available for any legitimate governmental purpose.  As noted in the ballot question, examples of uses of revenue from the UUT include 911 emergency services, fire protection services, public safety services, streets and pothole repair, parks and recreation programs, neighborhood police patrols, drug and gang-prevention programs, and other city services.  Measure PP would generate approximately $2.75 million in funds annually that are legally required to be used in Newark for local city services that cannot be taken by the State of California or Alameda County. 

Measure PP would continue to provide approved applicants with an exemption from payment of the UUT for senior citizens who are seventy (70) years or older and  low-income persons of any age who are enrolled in the Pacific Gas & Electric Company CARE Program (“California Alternate Rates for Energy”).   

Measure PP includes a requirement for annual financial audits of UUT collection and expenditures to be performed by a qualified and independent third party.  The results of the annual audits will be available to the public. 

A “Yes” vote is a vote to approve the extension of the voter-approved UUT for nine years at the current rate. A “No” vote is a vote to not extend the UUT and the UUT would no longer be levied after December 31, 2020. Measure PP will be approved if it receives a simple majority of “Yes” votes of those voting on the Measure. 

The above statement is an impartial analysis of Measure PP. If you desire a copy of the proposed ordinance, please call the City Clerk’s office at (510) 578-4278 and a copy will be mailed at no cost to you. 

DATED: August 6, 2020 


/s/ Kristopher J. Kokotaylo, Interim City Attorney 

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against

Arguments FOR


Vote YES on X – Protect local control and critical services without raising taxes! YES on X maintains:  

• 911 emergency response times/preparedness

• Fire protection

• Streets/pothole repair

• Crime prevention programs

• Local business/jobs support

YES on X extends existing voter-approved, locally controlled funding at the current rate and cannot be taken by the State. Measure X simply continues a reliable source of local revenue that keeps our community safe, our parks healthy and clean, our streets maintained, and potholes fixed. 

YES on X maintains funding approved and controlled by Newark’s voters that have been used to prevent severe cuts to critical services our community relies on and preserves emergency reserves that keep the City on sound financial footing.  

YES on X helps keep well-trained, community-based neighborhood patrols on our streets and maintains successful crime fighting efforts and anti-drug programs.   

YES on X makes our roads safer. We need to maintain our streets and fix potholes for our community’s safety, including first responders who need to reach people quickly who need help. 

Measure X continues to be fiscally accountable with mandatory financial audits, yearly reports, and public disclosure to ensure funds are spent on OUR priorities, responsibly.  

ALL Measure X funding must stay here in Newark for our own local needs. Not a dime can be taken by the State!  

Measure X is NOT a tax on your property or home.  

Measure X was developed after receiving input from hundreds of Newark residents! 

YES on X does not raise new taxes and seniors continue to be exempt.  

Join a unanimous Newark Mayor, City Council and community leaders in voting YES on X to protect and maintain the vital services that keep our community a safe, well-maintained place to live without raising taxes.  

For more factual information: 

Alan L. Nagy Mayor 

Ernie R. Morua Retired Newark Firefighter 

Ana Apodaca Life Long Newark Resident and Taxpayer 

Vivien Larsen Ohlone College CCD  Trustee 

Stanley B. Keiser Newark Senior Citizen Advisory Committee Member 

Arguments AGAINST

Ballot Opposition Statement: Newark Utility Users Tax Opposition 

Vote NO on DECEPTIVE Taxes.  Vote NO on this DECEPTIVE Tax.   

This General Tax will be placed in the General-Purpose Fund and can be spent on ANYTHING.  This Tax MIGHT be spent the popular services such as ‘public safety; streets/pothole repair; parks/recreation; neighborhood police patrols, crime prevention, drug/gang-prevention programs.’ This Tax WILL be spent on Union City’s BIG problem: Pension.  Newark has a BIG Pension problem and this Measure completely skips ‘the elephant in the room.’  Newark’s Pension deficit is growing at ½ million dollars per year.  Voters can be certain that they are being misled by this Measure because the Measure’s purposes fail to mention the biggest financial problem of all – Pension debt.   

Newark already has General Fund Taxes to pay for ‘public safety; streets/pothole repair; parks/recreation; neighborhood police patrols, crime prevention, drug/gang-prevention programs.’  The proof is that these services are already ongoing and paid for with ongoing taxes.  The City needs new taxes for these popular services so that the existing General Fund taxes can be diverted into the Pension accounts for the GROWING Pension deficits.  

The secret purpose of this Utility Tax is to ensure that ensure that Pension reform can be ignored for a few more years.  Newark’s Overlords receive glorious Pensions.  They can retire much better that the average taxpayer.  This Utility Tax ensures that Newark’s Overlords can postpone the needed reform. The Newark’s Overlords will never reform themselves as long as the taxpayers are giving them what they want. 

Require the City to correct the fatally flawed Pension program before providing more taxes.  As long as the voters give the City plenty more taxes, Pension reform will be ignored and your share of the Pension debt will keep growing – faster.  

Don’t wait.  Demand accountability Now.  Demand Pension reform Now. Marcus Crawley – President 

Alameda County Taxpayers Assoc. 

Replies to Arguments FOR

Rebuttal to Argument in Favor of Newark Measure X UUT 

The Proponents of this Tax are FOOLING themselves and trying to fool the voters. This is a NEW Utility Tax.  The Resolution explains that the existing Utility Tax expires this year on December 31, 2020.  The City PROMISED the voters that the ongoing Utility Tax would ‘AUTOMATICALLY EXPIRE’ on 12/31/2020.  Now, the Proponents are twisting the truth and calling a new tax a mere ‘extension’ of the ongoing UUT. 

The FIRST Requirement of ACCOUNTABILITY is honest facts.  The Ballot misleads the voters with misleading facts about the ‘Tax Rate.’  The Proponents take the next step in dishonesty by calling a NEW tax a mere tax ‘extension.’  Maybe, this NEW Utility Tax will fund all the benefits listed by the Proponents.  Maybe, the listed benefits are the bait for the diversion of funds to the Pension Retirement Accounts.  Since the Proponents are already misleading the voters, wise voters must doubt the promises from an unreliable source. 

Union City Voters must require HONEST government and leadership.  Don’t be MISLEAD by this slick campaign propaganda.  

If Voters and Citizens want to pay a Utility Tax, so be it.  Don’t reward your government by approving their DISHONESTY.   Require the City to offer an honest UUT proposal. 

Vote NO on this misleading NEW TAX. 

Marcus Crawley 

Replies to Arguments AGAINST


Don’t believe the irrational ranting of an out-of-town opponent who may actually have been writing about Union City (cited in his argument). 

Don’t be misled! The author clearly decided to submit the same rant to a number of cities in the East Bay – vote YES on PP. 

FACT: YES on PP simply extends locally controlled funding previously approved by Newark voters to maintain critical services our residents need more than ever. 

FACT: Funds generated by YES on PP will maintain Newark’s 911 emergency response and preparedness, crime prevention, fire protection services and economic recovery efforts. 

FACT: YES on PP simply continues a protected, reliable source of local funding that cannot be taken by the State and prevents even more severe cuts to essential services that the community needs to help us through the recovery together. 

FACT: As a fiscally responsible city, Newark has already cut over $6,000,000 from its budget.  There is nowhere left to cut – and we need to keep our residents healthy and safe. 

FACT: Public audits and public review ensure all Measure PP funds are spent on the community’s priorities. 

That’s why local business and community leaders, and residents across Newark all say YES on PP - keep OUR money LOCAL and maintain critical services in Newark! 

Get the FACTS: 

Debbie Montes, Newark Chamber of Commerce Chairman 

Vicente Guzman, Local Small Business Owner 

Nancy Couchot, 59 year Newark Resident and Taxpayer 

Elizabeth Macris, Graffiti Abatement Volunteer 

Robert R. Hastings, CERT Team Leader 

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