Measure V

Alameda County Utility Tax

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ALL ALAMEDA COUNTY—Would extend the existing 6.5% Utility Users Tax to June 30, 2033, collected only in the unincorporated areas (Ashland, Castro Valley, Cherryland, Fairview, San Lorenzo, Sunol), in order to fund county services, including services to the unincorporated areas (e.g. sheriff, library, planning, code enforcement), retaining current exemptions and exclusions. Measure V requires a simple majority (50% + 1) to pass.

Fiscal Impact: Would raise approximately $12 million annually to fund county services for as long as the tax remains in effect.

Next Alameda County Measure: Measure W

Details

Pro/Con
Pro: 

Proponents of Measure V argue that the measure extends the existing Utility Users Tax that has been collected in Alameda County since 1992 and will preserve existing revenues that have been used to provide vital services in the unincorporated areas of the county including public safety, libraries, land use planning, and code enforcement. They also argue that it preserves tax exemptions for qualifying low-income or lifeline utility users and persons on life support systems, protecting some of the communities’ most vulnerable members.

A YES vote on this measure means: The existing Utility Users Tax of 6.5% would be extended to June 30, 2033.

Con: 

Opponents of Measure V argue that the Utility Users Tax started as a temporary tax and that there are no obligations to use the funds raised for a particular purpose. They also argue that the money would be spent on pensions—rather than services in unincorporated areas—and that the entire county votes on the tax, but not every community is charged the tax.

A NO vote on this measure means: The existing Utility Users Tax of 6.5% would expire on June 30, 2021.

In Depth
In Depth:

Measure V asks voters whether the County Utility Users Tax, which is levied only in the unincorporated portions of the County of Alameda, should be extended to June 30, 2033. If approved, this Measure would maintain the current tax rate at 6.5 percent, extend it to 2033, and make other clarifying and administrative changes to the existing tax ordinance. Without voter approval of this Measure, the current tax will automatically expire on June 30, 2021.

The current Utility Users Tax for specified services in the unincorporated areas (e.g., Ashland, Castro Valley, Cherryland, Fairview, San Lorenzo, Sunol) was approved by the Board of Supervisors in December 1992. It has been extended three times by a majority of voters, in 1996, 2000, and 2008. All current tax exemptions and exclusions, including but not limited to, those for low-income or lifeline utility users, would remain in place. The tax shall be collected insofar as practicable at the same time as and along with the charges made in accordance with the regular billing practices of the service supplier.

The measure has no effect on utility users taxes that may have been, or will be, enacted by individual cities within the County and does not apply in the cities of Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Dublin, Emeryville, Fremont, Hayward, Livermore, Newark, Oakland, Piedmont, Pleasanton, San Leandro, or Union City.

Source: County Counsel's Impartial Analysis of Measure V

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