What You Need to Know Before You Vote
Measure K is a 20-year, $80 million half-cent city sales tax proposal on this November’s ballot. It's designed to relieve pressure on the city operating budget that’s being squeezed by growing costs for employee pensions and benefits.
The proposed tax can be spent on anything. There’s no guarantee or limitation on how the money could be used.
For years the city has neglected its streets and other infrastructure in order to give employees raises and benefits. Now they’re using street repairs as a sales pitch for Measure K.
The City wants $28 million from Measure K to fix streets, sidewalks and storm drains. In addition, they want $42 for other building projects. And they also want $20 million for a new library, plus another $26 million for borrowing costs.
Here are some of the problems with the city’s plan:
· Measure K’s math doesn’t work. Measure K is expected to bring in $80 million over 20 years. The city has identified well over $100 million in spending. This just doesn’t add up.
· A new library costs more than $20 million. The city wants to build a new library, but doesn’t own land to build on and has no plans or precise cost estimates. Plus, there hasn’t been a local library built for less than $40 million – not including the cost of land.
· No prioritized spending plan. The city needs to inventory of everything it owns and evaluate its condition. Only then can we know how much we need for infrastructure repairs. And only then can we set priorities and make a work schedule. The city says it will do a study on this by 2018. Measure K asks for money before making priorities clear.
· No genuine accountability. The purpose of the Measure K “oversight committee” is to get your support for this new tax. As designed, the committee lacks authority and independence. There would be no separate accounting for Measure K revenues. It's inevitable the money will be used to keep up with growing labor costs, which represent about 70% of the budget.
For over 30 years PHCRG has been the residents’ watchdog on city government. We do our research and get our facts straight – and we can spot empty campaign promises from a mile away. When public officials and election campaigns mislead the public, we present the facts so residents can make informed decisions.
Here’s the bottom line: Measure K doesn’t deserve your support.
We invite your questions about Measure K. Please send us your questions via the "Contact Us" tab on this site. We'll answer your questions on this blog and give you the real deal -- substantive answers with links to our information sources.