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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Smart Voter
Orange County, CA November 2, 2004 Election
Measure C
Increase Business License Tax
City of Brea

6467 / 40.5% Yes votes ...... 9520 / 59.5% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments |

Shall the City Of Brea increase business taxes as outlined in this measure?

Impartial Analysis from City Attorney
The City currently imposes a business license tax on service and professional businesses conducted within the City, based on various formulae. Measure C increases the amount of business license taxes required for wholesale, manufacturing, services, coin operated machines, contracting, building, rental and seasonal businesses. Measure C also places a tax on oil wells and per barrel of oil produced. The increases take in phases over approximately a two-year period of time. Measure C provides for future adjustments in business license taxes proportionate to increase in the cost of living index. The additional business license taxes paid would be general taxes, the revenues from which would be placed into the General Fund of the City, and City would be permitted to use the revenues for any valid municipal purpose. This measure would take effect only if approved by a majority of voting on the measure at the November 2, 2004 General Municipal Election.

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Arguments For Measure C Arguments Against Measure C
The business license tax that businesses pay the City of Brea has remained unchanged since 1976 (28 years!) while the cost of providing city services such as police and fire protection and street maintenance has risen dramatically. When compared to other cities in Orange and neighboring counties Brea's current fees are nearly the lowest. We all know costs go up over time, but in this case, businesses in Brea have not been paying their fair share, while residents have been asked to pay higher fees for services. The City Council has proposed that the business license tax should be increased from $30 per year to $70 for small businesses. That amounts to only $40 or less per year for nearly 70% of Brea businesses. In fact, the increase is less than $100 per year for 91%of all businesses. This measure will also fix the inequity that currently exists where our largest retail businesses pay a maximum of $500 per year, grossly out of proportion to what small businesses pay. And, as requested by the Brea Chamber of Commerce, these modest increases would be phased in over a three-year period. The proposed increase is essential for balancing the city's budget. Other steps already taken include reducing expenditures by $3.5 million, restructuring city departments, eliminating 43 positions, a hiring freeze, and a one-year wage freeze. Unfortunately, these cuts will mean a reduction in services to residents. Our balanced Fiscal Year 04-06 budget, which preserves public safety spending levels, is predicated on these increases being approved. We will only maintain a balanced budget if the voters support the increases, which we believe are fair and equitable. As previously stated, the cost of services has risen, and we are asking local businesses to pay a fair and equitable

No argument against this measure was submitted.

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Created: December 15, 2004 13:32 PST
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