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Contra Costa County, CA November 4, 2014 Election
Measure S
Approval Of Local Transactions and Use (Sales) Tax
City of Pinole

Transactions and Use Tax - Majority Approval Required

Pass: 2429 / 52.60% Yes votes ...... 2189 / 47.40% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Dec 28 11:39am, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (14/14)
Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments |

Shall an ordinance be adopted enacting a local half-cent transaction and use (sales) tax to maintain essential police and fire services, to prevent the reduction in maintenance of City parks and streets, and to prevent the reduction of youth, family and senior recreational services, subject to annual external audit and review?

Impartial Analysis from the City Attorney
The City Council submitted a ballot measure for an ordinance that would enact a new half-cent (0.5%) Transactions and Use ("Sales") tax within the City of Pinole. This tax is a general purpose tax requiring a simple majority (50% + 1) vote. If approved by the voters, the tax will be deposited into the City of Pinole's general fund and will used to pay for and prevent reduction in essential municipal services, such as police, fire, paramedic, parks, streets, youth, family and senior recreation services. The tax ordinance requires independent auditors to report on the collection, management and expenditure of tax revenue. An annual report will be prepared for public review at a public hearing.

The existing sales tax is a combination of "sales and use tax" and "transactions and use tax." Retailers collect both taxes at the time of sale and remit the funds to the State Board of Equalization, which administers the taxes. Both are levied on the retail sale or use of personal property, with certain exceptions. A sales tax is allocated to the jurisdiction where the sale is negotiated or the order for the sale is taken, but a transactions and use tax is allocated to the City where the merchandise or goods are delivered or placed into use. Merchandise purchased in a retail store is assumed by the state to be used within the city in which the store is located, unless the retailer is asked to ship the merchandise outside the city as part of the sale. This tax on retail sales is paid by non-residents as well as residents. Certain necessities of life, including purchases of food or medicine, are exempt from the tax.

State and local tax on retail sales in Pinole is currently 9% of the purchase price. The Measure authorizes a 0.5% transactions and use tax, increasing the total sales tax rate in Pinole from 9% to 9 .5%. The tax increase proposed by this measure would go only to the City. If approved, these local funds may not be taken by the State or any other governmental entity.

A "Yes" vote is a vote to approve the additional half-cent tax in Pinole, with annual audits. A "No" vote is a vote against the tax.

A full copy of the proposed ordinance may be obtained during business hours at the Office of the City Clerk, City of Pinole, 2131 Pear Street, Pinole, CA 94564 and is also available on the City of Pinole website at

Benjamin T. Reyes II

City Attorney, City of Pinole

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Arguments For Measure S Arguments Against Measure S
The City of Pinole needs your help to pass this half-cent sales-tax measure for the community's benefit. This measure will help to rebuild the city's infrastructure; provide corrective maintenance of our roads, city buildings, parks, sewers, and storm drains; and address further state mandates. Not addressing these matters will put all of these city services in jeopardy and create greater debt down the road.

Please support and pass this sales-tax measure. Pinole survived the recent economic recession by initiating tough budgetary decisions and following a predetermined path of fiscal responsiveness, unlike some communities that didn't and are financially imperiled today.

In the past we have used grants for many services, including, but not limited to, public safety. These grants that include funding for firefighters and police officer positions are ending soon.

Despite our efficiencies, we have residual needs. This sales tax will generate $1.6 million, supporting police, fire, public works, recreation, youth and senior activities + all the essential services and amenities of a full-service city.

This sales tax places the least burden on Pinole residents, as the majority of the revenue will be generated by residents from other communities who shop here.

And + 100% of this tax will stay in Pinole; the state cannot take any of it. Please help us maintain our high community standards and our property values - and keep Pinole "Pinole." VOTE "YES" on Measure S.

Peter Murray, Mayor Protem

Jeff Rubin, Citizen

Roy V. Swearingen, City Council Member

Rebuttal to Arguments For
If keeping Pinole, "Pinole" means non-transparency, dishonesty, intimidation, bullying and illegality, then vote "Yes". In the past City Staff have hidden the business of the city from plain view, lied about their actions and have violated both state and federal law.

Pinole was a self sufficient full service city funded by tax payer dollars and not dependent on outsiders to support our city. Outsiders perpetrate the majority of the crime in our city and depending on outsiders only invite more crime, such as the murder we witnessed at the beginning of 2014.

The City of Pinole has wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions pursuing inefficient poor choices. For example; the now infamous illegal Verizon Cell Tower Fiasco in Pinole Valley is a case in point. What was to bring in $24,000 annually has thus far cost the City over $450 Thousand in lost Revenue, due to lost productivity, legal fees, and land purchases necessitated by this poor choice. Pending litigation with Verizon could increase these losses dramatically.

Also, the politically driven litigation with the Firefighters Union is a second money drain to the city coffers, with the potential of rising to over a million dollars.

Not a single penny from Measure S funds have been used to support senior or any other recreational program. All recreational programs are required to support themselves as enterprise funds.

Send a strong message to City Hall and Vote "No" on the tax measure.

Anthony Gutierrez, Pinole Citizen

Why does the City of Pinole want to raise the Sales Tax by 1/2 cent? By law the City of Pinole is allowed to increase sales taxes by a total of 1 cent. Thus far the City has only raised sales taxes by 1/2 cent. Does the City need the revenue? No.

The City of Pinole will have over $5 Million of reserves in the General Fund (General Fund + Accumulated Measure S + Return to Source Income from the County as a Result of the Dissolution of the former Redevelopment Agency) going into the 2014/2015 Fiscal Year or shortly thereafter. The City also has over $5 Million in Reserves in the Sewer Fund. The City is also applying for a $22 Million loan from the State of California to make the State Water Board mandated improvements. Sewer Rate increases is also scheduled through the year 2017.

Sales Taxes have nearly recovered to the non-realistic levels of 2006 because of the sustainable growth at retail outlets in Pinole. These Sales Taxes are expected to continue to grow as new retail outlets have opened.

Property Taxes have recovered to above the peak of 2006. Two reasons; (1) partial recovery of home values in Pinole (2) dissolution of the former Redevelopment Agency has given the City of Pinole a secondary revenue stream to the property taxes. This secondary stream of is expected to increase for the foreseeable future.

West Contra Costa Unified School District has agreed to pay for all three SRO Police Officers at Pinole schools.

A grant specialist will be hired in 2014/2015 who will apply for Police and Fire Grants such as the current SAFER GRANT that the City has which will not expire until midway through 2015/2016.

Anthony Gutierrez, Pinole Citizen

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
The argument against this sales-tax measure is misleading.

Example, "The City also has over $5 Million in Reserves in the Sewer Fund." FACT: The City can legally use sewer-fund money only for sewage collection and treatment, not for General Fund expenses, such as Police, Fire, and Recreation.

And, "Property Taxes have recovered to above the peak of 2006." FACT: The distribution of residual taxes from the dissolution of the Redevelopment Agency created a one-time spike in property-tax revenue from city-owned property only. Property values have not risen to above 2006 levels, as any homeowner in Pinole knows.

It's fair that everyone who shops in Pinole helps fund City services.

Pinole's current operating budget only provides for minimum staffing for Police and Fire personnel. Existing grants fund 4 Police and 4 Firefighter positions. Grants are never guaranteed. How will we maintain staffing when these grants expire? Our existing tax base means maintaining minimum staffing for Public Safety programs, requiring deferred maintenance of critical public infrastructure.

The City's roadways are valued at $50 million; less than $500,000 is available for street maintenance. How will the City fund the next multi-million-dollar repair of Fitzgerald Drive, Pinole Valley Road, or San Pablo Avenue, when they come due? There's barely enough recurring revenue from Countywide Measure J tax allocations for minimal residential street repairs.

Pinole survived the recession by being well managed and fiscally responsible. Please help keep Pinole a great place to live and work.

Laurelle Martin

Pinole citizen/Chairperson, Pinole Youth Commission

Judy Lee

Pinole citizen/ Treasurer, City of Pinole

Dina Rosales

Pinole citizen/Owner, DMR

Accounting and Tax Solutions

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