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November 3, 2020 — California General Election
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Local

City of San Leandro
Measure VV - 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

20,156 votes yes (53.28%)

17,676 votes no (46.72%)

100% of precincts reporting (33/33).

To maintain City of San Leandro services, with revenue that cannot be taken by the State, including: repairing potholes/streets; supporting seniors, families and local small businesses through COVID-19 economic recovery; preserving 911 emergency response; maintaining youth violence prevention programs; and general city services; shall San Leandro increase the existing real property transfer tax rate, collected when property is sold, by $5 per $1,000 in valuation, generating an additional $4,000,000 annually, until repealed by voters, all funds benefiting San Leandro?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

YES vote means

A “yes” vote is a vote to adopt the ordinance allowing the City to increase the real property transfer tax imposed upon transfers of real property within the City from six dollars ($6.00) to eleven dollars ($11.00) for every one thousand dollars ($1,000) or fraction thereof paid as consideration.

NO vote means

A “no” vote is a vote against approval of the ordinance and the change in tax rate. 

Impartial analysis / Proposal

City of San Leandro attorney Richard Pio Roda

CITY OF SAN LEANDRO MEASURE VV

CITY ATTORNEY’S IMPARTIAL ANALYSIS

(REAL PROPERTY TRANSFER TAX)

Transfers of real property within the City of San Leandro must pay a tax based on the value of the real property being transferred. The real property transfer tax applies to transactions involving the sale and purchase of real property. The tax is paid when ownership transfers from the seller of the property to the purchaser of the property. The tax is a one-time expense related to the transfer of ownership and is unrelated to the annual payment of property taxes. The purpose of the real property transfer tax is to raise revenue for use by the City for any legal municipal purpose.

The City’s current real property transfer tax rates are set forth in full in Chapter 2-3 of the San Leandro Municipal Code. The tax rate and calculation method imposes a six dollar ($6.00) tax for each one thousand dollars ($1,000) or fraction thereof paid as consideration. The value of the consideration depends on the transaction, and is generally the total amount of money paid or contracted to be paid in return for the transfer of any real property.

If Measure VV (Real Property Transfer Tax) is passed by the voters, it would amend Chapter 2-3- 105 of the San Leandro Municipal Code to change the existing tax rate from six dollars ($6.00) to eleven dollars ($11.00) for each one thousand dollars ($1,000) or fraction thereof paid as consideration.

The City estimates that the changes could increase the amount of real property transfer taxes paid to the City by about $4,000,000.00 per year. The real property transfer tax is a general tax, the proceeds of which could be used for any legal municipal purpose. The tax would be ongoing. The San Leandro City Council placed the measure on the ballot by a unanimous vote. The California Constitution, Article XIII(C), Section 2(b) requires that an increase to or change in the method of calculating a general tax must be approved by a majority vote of the electorate.

A “yes” vote is a vote to adopt the ordinance allowing the City to increase the real property transfer tax imposed upon transfers of real property within the City from six dollars ($6.00) to eleven dollars ($11.00) for every one thousand dollars ($1,000) or fraction thereof paid as consideration.

A “no” vote is a vote against approval of the ordinance and the change in tax rate. Measure VV would be approved if it received a simple majority of “yes” votes.

DATED: July 23, 2020

s/RICHARD D. PIO RODA

 City Attorney

 City of San Leandro, California

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

 

Nothing is more important for San Leandro than safeguarding our quality of life – for the safety of our children, for our seniors and for our future. That’s why we ask you to join us in VOTING YES on Measure VV.

The City has tightened its fiscal belt. While demand for city services has significantly increased, San Leandro has 15% less staff than in 2008 and consistently achieves a balanced budget. Meanwhile, COVID-19 has dealt a devastating blow to San Leandro’s economy, resulting in the loss of over $7 million to the City this year and an expected loss of $14 million next year.

Unless we take action there will be sharp cuts to city services that will undermine our quality of life.

Measure VV ensures that the City can maintain critical services. Without increasing the cost of living to local residents, Measure VV adjusts San Leandro’s existing Real Property Transfer Tax (RPTT) to fund vital services, including:

• Repairing potholes and city streets;

• Supporting seniors, families, and local small businesses through COVID-19 economic

recovery;

• Preserving 911 emergency response; and

• Maintaining city parks and library services.

This is NOT an ongoing property tax or repetitive tax. The RPTT is collected only once in transaction closing costs when properties are bought/sold. Large corporations and major commercial businesses will pay the largest assessments, not small business owners or single-family homeowners.

Taxpayer Safeguards are REQUIRED. ALL FUNDS MUST STAY IN SAN LEANDRO. The State can’t take these funds away. Independent financial audits and regular public reporting ensure proper spending. San Leandro’s RPTT is currently the lowest among eligible Alameda County cities.

Please join neighborhood, civic and business leaders, seniors, parents, and residents throughout San Leandro and VOTE YES on Measure VV. Thank you!

Learn more at www.facebook.com/SanLeandransForAGreatCity

s/PAULINE RUSSO CUTTER

 Mayor, City of San Leandro

s/PETER OSHINSKI

 President, Board of Education San Leandro Unified School District

s/STEPHEN CASSIDY

 Former Mayor of San Leandro

s/VICTOR AGUILAR, JR.

 San Leandro Councilmember

s/CORINA LOPEZ

 San Leandro Councilmember

— City of San Leandro web site

Arguments AGAINST

In the last five years the City of San Leandro has desperately tried to offset expenses with a sales tax increase on marijuana sales, hotel occupancy, and warehouse space. Now they are pushing for a tax on property that NEVER expires.

This property tax measure isn’t new - Deputy City Manager Engelbart admitted this tax has been in discussion for two years. Just a few months ago, they spent $135,000 on a “art” statue but not to worry City Manager Kay assures us that the money was previously appropriated before the pandemic. Implying that the pandemic doesn’t reprioritize how we spend taxpayer money. But they are using COVID-19 as a reason to add another tax on the community. To further gin up support of this measure they sent an expensive mail-in survey which had little response from the public.

This is pure political expediency and arrogance that the public will just keep giving more money. This measure just needs a simple majority and that money goes straight into the general fund. They can and will use it anyway they want.

In each of our personal lives we had to make drastic cuts in response to Covid-19 - why isn’t our city doing the same?

City leadership can’t be trusted with this new tax money based on past behavior and their response to this crisis. Please vote NO.

s/Chris Langsdale

s/Gary Langbehn

— City of San Leandro web site

Replies to Arguments FOR

Mayor Cutter said, “the City has tightened its fiscal belt.” Do you truly believe that? CEOs, board members and general employees in the private sector are all taking pay cuts as high as 35%. Has our Mayor, City Manager, and employees taken any pay cuts? In each of our personal lives we had to make drastic cuts in response to COVID-19 - why isn’t our city doing the same?

This City was spiraling towards the RED long before COVID-19. Due to our existing unfunded pension obligations, with an expected 2021 $2.5 million added to our deficit every year. Those are real numbers and clearly, they DON’T want to remind you of that. Instead, they are using COVID-19 and FEAR to get you to give them more money. They pinky swear that it will be used for potholes, 911, seniors, and puppy dogs. We know better!

Read between the lines and you will see just how deceiving they are being. “Consistently achieves a balanced budget” – that window of truth is closing fast so slip it in to get what they want.

We shouldn’t fund a government that can’t deliver during the good times and then begs for more money during the bad times.

Please VOTE NO on Measure VV.

s/Chris Langsdale

s/Gary Langbehn

— City of San Leandro web site

Replies to Arguments AGAINST

Measure VV is about ONE THING and ONE THING ONLY: protecting our quality of life during a pandemic. Measure VV preserves vital city services without impacting residents’ daily cost of living.

Here are the facts:

FACT: The City has managed its budget well. Unlike nearby cities that were running budget deficits even when the economy was strong, San Leandro has consistently maintained a balanced budget.

FACT: Even with a $7 million loss in tax revenue this year due to COVID-19, the City provided funding to San Leandro’s food banks so no resident would go hungry, and grants to local businesses hurt by the pandemic. But next year is a different story.

FACT: The City is facing a $14 million deficit in 2021. Without taking action now, there will be sharp cuts to city services that will undermine our quality of life.

FACT: Measure VV is not a property tax and will not impact your property tax bill. Measure VV is a fee collected only once - when a property is bought or sold.

FACT: Measure VV is not a new tax. Even with Measure VV, San Leandro’s real property transfer tax will remain one of the lowest among eligible Alameda County cities.

We all benefit when our City has sufficient funds to repair streets, support seniors, families and small business impacted by the pandemic, provide lifesaving 911 emergency response and maintain our treasured parks and libraries.

Stand with us – and OUR city. You’ll be in good company. VOTE YES on Measure VV.

s/PETE BALLEW

 Vice Mayor, City of San Leandro

s/EVELYN GONZALEZ

 Vice President, San Leandro School Board

s/JAMES C. PROLA

 Former San Leandro Vice Mayor

s/HERMY ALMONTE

 San Leandro Commissioner/Former San Leandro Board of Trustee

s/MONIQUE M. TATE

 San Leandro School Board Trustee 

— City of San Leandro web site
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