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Smart Voter
Los Angeles County, CA November 6, 2012 Election
Measure H
El Monte Sugar Sweetened Beverage Business License Fee Measure
City of El Monte

Ordinance - Majority Approval Required

Fail: 4,428 / 23.85% Yes votes ...... 14,137 / 76.15% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Dec 2 2:20pm, 100.00% of Precincts Reporting (38/38)
Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments |

To offset state cuts and maintain City gneral fund services, shall an ordinance be adopted implementing a business license fee of one (1) cent per fluid ounce of sugar sweetened beverage served/provided/traded by businesses in the City?

Impartial Analysis from
Rick R. Olverez
City Attorney
If approved, Measure "H" will establish a business license fee that will be imposed on each EI Monte business that serves, provides or trades sugar sweetened beverages at a rate of one (1) cent per fluid ounce of such sugar sweetened beverages served, provided or traded by the business during the year.

Proponents of the business license fee believe its imposition will result in the reduced consumption of sugar sweetened beverages, which in tum will help reduce incidences of obesity and the various related health problems and associated medical costs that come with obesity. Opponents question whether the fee will result in reduced incidences of obesity and further express concern over the fees possible economic impact on businesses and consumers.

As used in the measure, "sugar sweetened beverage" means any nonalcoholic beverage, whether or not carbonated, which contains added caloric sweetener, e.g. non-diet soda drinks. "Sugary sweetened beverage" does not include Pedialyte, Ensure, Lucerne and Pediasure, or other similar nutritional supplement drinks or rehydration beverages for children and/or seniors.

It is also estimated by City staff that the business license fee will generate between $3.5 to $7 million in general tax revenues for the City of EI Monte ("City") which the City could use to address fiscal challenges brought about by the elimination of Redevelopment and other adverse economic conditions.

The business license fee is a general tax under Article XIIIC of the California Constitution because the proceeds of the tax may be used for any governmental/municipal purpose, including but not limited to park and street maintenance, recreational programs, the restoration of emergency reserves and public safety and emergency response services. Because the business license fee is a general tax it may be approved by a simple majority of those who vote at the City's upcoming Special Municipal Election of November 6, 2012.

If approved by the voters, the City will enact an ordinance implementing the business license fee.

Voting "YES" for Measure H means:

The voter wants a business license fee to be imposed on City businesses in the amount of one (1) cent per fluid ounce of sugar sweetened beverage served, provided, or traded.

Voting "NO" for Measure H means:

The voter does not want a business license fee to be imposed on City businesses in the amount of one (1) cent per fluid ounce of sugar sweetened beverage served, provided, or traded.

  Official Information

City of El Monte
News and Analysis

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Arguments For Measure H Arguments Against Measure H
Measure H is a unique proposal to raise needed revenue and improve public health through an increase in the business license fee for businesses that sell sugary drinks. In a recent study of 400 cities in California, EI Monte ranked 9th in childhood obesity. To address this obesity epidemic in EI Monte and to maintain basic city services, we are asking you to consider imposing a 1 penny per ounce fee on business licenses.

A YES Vote on Measure H will:

  • Preserve fire and police services that keep our neighborhoods safe.
  • Fund nutritional programs for our schools to teach children about healthy choices.
  • Support after school activities that keep children out of gangs.
  • Improve parks and sports fields for the community.

Over the last few years, EI Monte voters have chosen a new direction for our City by electing new leaders to manage our government. In 2012, the City Council took the unprecedented step of cutting its pay by 15%, employees gave up pay increases, department spending was reduced by 6.5% and some employees took pay cuts. These cuts, including chronic revenue shortfalls, have resulted in a workforce reduction of 120 full-time employees. Our City is doing more for less, but there are significant challenges looming.

Measure H will help stabilize our budget, provide improved community services for families, preserve public safety services and make our city healthier. Out of state corporations are going to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to mislead local families on this important issue. They want to avoid paying their fair share and they don't care about the safety and health of EI Monte's neighborhoods. The City Council is trying to get ahead of these challenges.

Please join us in voting YES on Measure H.


College TrusteelMother


Medical Doctor

School Trustee

Rebuttal to Arguments For
Measure H proponents want you to believe that a new beverage tax will help solve El Monte's budget problems. BUT the money goes to the general fund where it can be used for anything the politicians choose.

The Facts:

  • The City need not spend the money as promised. Read the fine print and you see that the "...fee imposed by Section 5.10.020 shall be deposited in the City's general fund and shall be available for any lawful municipal purpose."
  • El Monte residents will end up paying taxes on hundreds of grocery products like sodas, aguas frescas, bubble teas, sweetened teas, sports drinks, and energy drinks.
  • With gas and food costs on the rise, there could not be a worse time to ask families to pay more.
  • El Monte's small business owners will suffer. People will avoid the tax by going to nearby cities to buy all of their groceries.
  • Taxes don't teach children how to be healthy -- they just make government bigger.

Instead of a new beverage tax, the City should fix its own problems and leave our grocery budget alone. We've seen it before -- new taxes like Measure H will just encourage politicians to tax us every time they can't balance their books.

The people of El Monte shouldn't have to pay for the City's pet projects and wasteful spending habits.

Vote No On Measure H. Visit:

Co-Owner, El Sombrero

Co-Owner, El Sombrero

Owner, Art's Burgers

Former El Monte City Council Member

Owner, Piñata World

Measure H: Too Expensive For EI Monte

E1 Monte's politicians are trying to make up for years of overspending by taxing beverages like sports drinks, ice teas, bubble teas, horchata, and agua fresca. A tax on groceries is the wrong way to balance the city's budget.

This is a money grab that has nothing to do with the health of our community. EI Monte residents already pay a sales tax of 9.25% - a higher rate than neighboring cities. And there's nothing to stop the politicians from trying to increase the tax every time the city runs low on money.

Vote "NO" on "H" because:
- Not a single dollar is dedicated to fight obesity. Measure H is just an attempt by the politicians to avoid responsibility for their budget mess.

  • Taxes don't make people healthier. The smart way to curb obesity is through education and promoting balanced diets.
  • Measure H will force EI Monte residents to shop for groceries in nearby cities, making it even harder for local businesses to keep their doors open.
  • Grocery prices are on the rise, we don't need to pay any more for fruit juice drinks, sodas, sports drinks, horchata and bubble tea.

Don't be fooled. Measure H is a bad deal for EI Monte.

Get more information at

Co-Owner, EI Sombrero

Co-Owner, EI Sombrero

Owner, Art's Burgers

Former EI Monte City Council Member

Owner, Pinata World

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
We have great confidence in the collective wisdom of the voters of El Monte to make an informed decision. El Monte voters chose new members of the City Council to better manage the City's finances and this revenue option gives the City an opportunity to fund community priorities.

So what are the budget facts? We know that Measure GG, the half-cent sales tax, will sunset in April 2014 and leave the City with fewer choices. If we adjust for inflation, the City is spending less in each of the last three years than it did in the previous 9 years. The City is doing more for less. Opponents want you to believe that this City is overspending, but the facts do not support such a claim.

We also know that opponents will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to defeat Measure H in El Monte. They spend more than $500 million dollars per year advertising products to our children that have no nutritional value. They fear that a business license fee on sugary drinks will result in less consumption of their products which impacts their bottom line. Supporters of Measure H will not spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to try to convince you to vote for Measure H.

If we vote YES on Measure H, we will generate a local revenue stream to provide City services in our community that our children and families deserve.

The future of El Monte is in your hands.


Retired Teacher/Mother


Business Woman/Mother


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Created: December 17, 2012 13:44 PST
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