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Smart Voter
Contra Costa County, CA November 4, 2014 Election
Measure O
Business License Tax
City of Antioch

Majority Approval Required

Pass: 8737 / 51.62% Yes votes ...... 8189 / 48.38% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Dec 28 11:39am, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (49/49)
Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Full Text

To provide funding that cannot be seized by the State, to maintain such general City services as police services, code enforcement, street repairs, senior services and youth programs, shall the City of Antioch adopt a residential landlord business license tax based on the type and number of units and confirm the existing gross receipts business license tax with an increased minimum tax, which is not a tax on the general public?

Impartial Analysis from City Attorney
The City Council voted unanimously to put Measure O on the ballot to ask voters to:

. Confirm that the rental of real property (e.g. land or building) is a business subject to taxation;

. Impose an annual business license tax on residential landlords renting Antioch property at $250 per detached, single-family dwelling unit (e.g. house) and $150 per attached, multi-family dwelling unit (e.g. apartment); and

. Maintain existing business license taxes for all other businesses, but with an increase in the annual minimum tax to $100 for businesses subject to the gross receipts tax formula, except for certain home occupation businesses for which the minimum tax remains $25.

Applicability of Business License Taxes

Business license taxes are not taxes on the general public. Businesses operating in Antioch pay the tax to provide funding for municipal services in Antioch. These municipal services, like police, code enforcement, street repair, park and median landscaping and maintenance, benefit businesses and residences in Antioch.

Landlords of commercial properties already pay business license taxes based on the existing gross receipts formula. Likewise, their commercial tenants pay business license taxes. Historically, the majority of residential landlords (single-family and multi-family) have not paid a business license tax. The proposed per dwelling unit business license tax would replace the gross receipts business license tax that some apartment owners have paid.

Nonprofits -- including nonprofit senior housing -- are exempt from paying the existing business license tax and would be exempt from this proposed tax.

Business License Tax Formulas

Cities may use different formulas for taxing different kinds of businesses. This may include using flat dollar amounts for some businesses and a percentage of gross receipts for other kinds of businesses. Sometimes cities use a particular formula because it is more efficient method of tax collection.

The proposed tax on residential landlords would only apply to properties located in Antioch. This meets Constitutional requirements to be nondiscriminatory and apportioned so not to burden interstate commerce.

General Revenue for All City Services

The tax revenue would be deposited in the City's general fund. It could be used for any legal municipal purpose including: police and emergency response; code enforcement; local economic development and job creation; street repair; and any other City program or service.

Effect of Measure O

Voting "Yes" on Measure O is a vote to: 1) confirm that the rental of property is a business subject to taxation; 2) impose an annual business license tax on residential landlords; and 3) maintain the existing business license taxes for all other businesses but with an increase to the minimum business license tax for businesses subject to the gross receipts formula, with some exceptions.

Voting "No" on Measure O is a vote against the tax on residential landlords and the increased minimum business license tax.

If a majority of voters vote "Yes" on Measure O, it passes.

  Measure O Information

Antioch City Website
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Arguments For Measure O Arguments Against Measure O
The City of Antioch lacks the revenue to provide adequate levels of municipal services to the community. Suffering from staffing and operating expense cuts of 30% since 2007, all General Fund functions are significantly under-staffed, including Police, Code Enforcement, Public Works, Planning, Building andadministrative departments.As a result the police department, the public works office and City Hall are closed on Fridays.

Antioch does not have a spending problem. Antioch has a revenue problem. Low property values, low property tax revenue, and low sales tax revenue give Antioch much lower General Fund revenues than comparably sized cities in the County, at $404.36 per resident (2014-15 budget). In comparison, Concord receives $681.68 and Richmond, at $1,255.75, receives more than triple the revenue of Antioch. Pittsburg and Brentwood receive $555.84 and $817.35 respectively.

A group of Antioch citizens started an initiative to adjust the Business License Tax for residential landlords to $240 per unit per year. After months of negotiations between the California Apartment Association, the citizen's initiative leaders and the City, the City proposed a $250 per unit annual charge for detached houses being rented and $150 per unit for multi-family rental units. This will equate to $20.83 per month for rental houses and $12.50 a month for apartments - about one percent (.8% to 1.2%) of gross rent, which will be paid by landlords. The citizens agreed. The Apartment Association did not.

Many wealthy investors that purchased houses in Antioch have not been paying Business License Taxes. It's time they did. They are making millions in Antioch, while enjoying the tax advantages of real estate investment. Measure O will ensure they pay their fair share in Antioch. After all, all property owners will benefit greatly from the additional services the City will fund with this revenue.


Antioch City Council, Wade Harper, Mayor Hansel Hon Tao Ho, Former Crime Prevention Commissioner James Kenneth Gray Jr., Boardmember + East Contra Costa Transit Authority Donald P. Freitas, Former Mayor + City of Antioch Robin Agopian, Resident

In June, the Contra Costa Times reported that the City of Antioch has a budget surplus according to the City's own Finance Director. But once again, the Antioch City Council is trying to increase taxes on its citizens.

And once again the City Council has proposed a tax measure that side-steps the two-thirds vote requirement, thus making it even easier to increase taxes without requiring the City to reveal how the money will be spent.

Last year, Antioch voters supported a massive tax increase +Measure C. The City Council claimed (falsely) that the money would be used to hire 22 new police officers. But the Contra Costa Times uncovered that Measure C money was never used to hire 22 new officers; and another news report stated that Antioch voters were "hoodwinked on the use of Measure C funds."

With Measure O, the City Council is trying to take advantage of the voters again!

. Many senior citizens will ultimately be paying for the Measure O tax. . There are absolutely no guarantees how the Measure O money will be spent. . Antioch's Finance Director said that the City has a budget surplus.

It is irresponsible for the City Council to raise taxes resulting in higher costs for senior citizens + many on fixed incomes and elderly + and least able to afford increased monthly payments.

The City Council should simply trust the voters and provide a detailed spending plan when asking for new taxes. But instead, the City Council is asking for another blank check, and using scare tactics to influence unsuspecting voters.

So if the City Council won't trust the voters, why should we trust the City Council with yet another tax increase? Please join senior citizens, home owners, and business owners in Voting NO on Measure O.

California Apartment Association, Contra Costa Division, Aaron Meadows, Board Member Lisa Alotte, Antioch Senior Citizen Scott MacIntyre, Antioch Realtor/Resident Perry Shusta, Antioch Resident/Business Owner Charles Caballero, Antioch Senior Citizen

Full Text of Measure O


The people of the City of Antioch do ordain as follows:

SECTION 1. BUSINESS LICENSING. The following sentence is added to the definition of "Business" in Section 3-1.102 of the Antioch Municipal Code:

"The rental or lease of real property is a Business subject to taxation under this chapter."

SECTION 2. RESIDENTIAL LANDLORD BUSINESS LICENSE TAX. The following provision is added to Chapter 1 of Title 3 of the Antioch Municipal Code to read as follows:

"Section 3-1.217 RESIDENTIAL LANDLORD (A) In lieu of any other business license tax and subject to sub-section (B) below, all those in the business of renting living quarters, including but not limited to a rental dwelling unit as defined in Section 5-20.201 of the Antioch Municipal Code, shall pay the annual license amount indicated in the table immediately below based on the total number of units they are renting or have available for rent within the City of Antioch and the type of unit as defined in the Municipal Code:

Type of Unit Annual Tax

Single family dwelling unit $250.00 per unit

Multi-family dwelling unit including duplexes, condominiums and apartments $150.00 per unit

(B) The following living quarters are excepted from this requirement to pay a business license tax based on dwelling units but still must pay the tax based on gross receipts: (i) those that fit within the definition of hospital, hotel, motel, and convalescent and extended care facility and residential care facility as defined in Section 9-5.203 of the Antioch Municipal Code; (ii) those that are exempt as a matter of law; and (iii) those that the Director of Financial Services reasonably determines to be substantially similar in nature to one of the excepted living quarters listed above.

(C) The Director of Financial Services may promulgate policies and procedures to administer this tax.

SECTION 3. CONFIRMATION OF THE EXISTING BUSINESS LICENSE TAX ORDINANCE AND RATE. The business license tax provisions in Chapter 1 of Title 3 of the Antioch Municipal Code are hereby confirmed. Any business not specifically enumerated in Chapter 1 of Title 3 of the Antioch Municipal Code, which the City may tax, shall pay a business license tax according to the average annual gross receipts as defined according to the existing formula in Section 3-1.201 of the Antioch Municipal Code, with the exception that the minimum tax is raised to $100.00, except for Home Occupation Businesses as defined in Title 9 that are not "Professionals" as defined in Title 3, as to whom the minimum tax shall remain $25.00:

From $0.00 To $20,000.00 Tax $100.00 (except for non-Professional Home Occupation businesses which shall pay $25.00)

$20,001.00 To $1,000,000.00 $1.25 / $1,000.00 of gross receipts

$1,000,001.00 & above $1,250.00 plus 20 /thousand dollars of gross receipts over $1,000,000.00

SECTION 4. AMENDMENT. This Ordinance may be repealed or amended by the City Council without a vote of the People except as follows: as required by Article XIIIC of the California Constitution, any amendment that increases the amount or rate of tax beyond the levels authorized by this Ordinance may not take effect unless approved by a vote of the People. The City Council may impose the tax in any amount or rate which does not exceed the rate approved by the voters of the City.

SECTION 5. REVENUE MEASURE. The tax adopted by this Ordinance is enacted solely to raise revenue for municipal purposes and is not intended for the purpose of regulation. The People of the City determine the tax to be an appropriate general tax for the purpose of raising revenue. Proceeds of the tax will be deposited in the general fund of the City and will be available for any lawful municipal purpose. This Ordinance does not, in itself, authorize the conduct of any business or activity in the City, but merely provides for the taxation of such businesses or activities.

SECTION 6. SEVERABILITY. If any provision of this ordinance or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the ordinance and the application of such provision to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby. The voters of the City hereby declare that they would have adopted this Ordinance and each portion thereof regardless of the fact that an invalid portion or portions may have been present in the Ordinance.

SECTION 7. CEQA. This business license tax to be submitted to the voters is a general tax that can be used for any legitimate governmental purpose. As such, under CEQA Guidelines section 15378(b)(4), the tax is not a project within the meaning of CEQA because it creates a government funding mechanism that does not involve any commitment to any specific project that may result in a potentially significant impact on the environment. Therefore, under CEQA Guidelines section 15060, review under CEQA is not required.

SECTION 8. EFFECTIVE DATE. This ordinance relates to the levying and collecting of the City's business license tax and shall not take effect until ten days after the certification of its approval by the majority of the voters voting at the general municipal election to be held on November 4, 2014 pursuant to Elections Code section 9217

SECTION 9. CERTIFICATION; PUBLICATION. Upon approval by the voters, the City Clerk shall certify to the passage and adoption of this Ordinance and shall cause it to be published according to law.

Ordinance No. ____ was submitted to the People of the City of Antioch at the November 4, 2014 municipal election. It is hereby certified that this Ordinance was APPROVED by the following vote of the People of Antioch:



This Ordinance was thereby adopted by the voters at the November 4, 2014 election and took effect 10 days following adoption of a resolution declaring the results of the election at a regular meeting of the City Council held on _____________________ by the following vote:




I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and correct copy of an ordinance duly and regularly adopted by the People of the City of Antioch, California.

Arne Simonsen,

City Clerk of the City of Antioch

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