MEASURE F – TOWN OF CORTE MADERA
Shall Corte Madera (1) eliminate the special drainage property tax ($98 per residential unit or per 1,000 commercial square feet) AND (2) extend the existing 1/2¢ sales tax at a 3/4¢ rate until ended by voters, providing $3,500,000 annually for unrestricted general revenue purposes (for example, flood/sea level rise/disaster preparedness, fire prevention, street repair, improved traffic flow, safety improvements, 911 response, and senior/youth programs) subject to annual audits and a citizens’ oversight committee?
CITY ATTORNEY’S IMPARTIAL ANALYSIS OF MEASURE F
If adopted by the voters, Measure F would do two things. First, the Measure would eliminate the existing Corte Madera storm drainage property tax of $98 yearly per residential unit or per 1,000 commercial square feet, a tax that would otherwise not end until April 2023. Second, the measure would increase the existing Corte Madera transactions and use tax (“sales tax”) from a half‐cent (1/2¢) rate to a three-quarter cent (3/4¢) rate and extend that sales tax from its current April 2020 expiration date until the tax is ended by the voters.
It is estimated that extending and increasing the sales tax would generate $3,500,000 annually. These funds would continue to go in the Town’s general fund and could be used for any unrestricted general fund purpose as determined by the Town Council, including, but not limited to, flood, sea level rise and disaster preparedness; fire prevention; street repair; improved traffic flow; safety improvements; 911 response; and senior/youth programs.
The sales tax would apply only to purchases that are currently subject to the existing sales tax. For example, purchases of groceries, prescription drugs and medical devices would continue not to be taxed.
The Measure requires that the collection, management and spending of the sales tax proceeds be audited yearly by an independent auditor and presented to the Town Council. The audit report would be available to the public.
In addition, the Town Council would continue to be required to appoint a Citizens Oversight Committee made up of Town residents to review and report to the Town Council on the amount of sales tax revenue collected, and how that revenue is spent.
A “yes” vote on Measure F is a vote to (1) eliminate Corte Madera’s existing storm drainage property tax, and (2) extend Corte Madera’s existing sales tax at an increased three-quarter cent (3/4¢) rate until the tax is ended by voters.
A “no” vote on Measure F is a vote to (1) keep Corte Madera’s existing storm drainage property tax in place until that tax expires in April 2023, and (2) maintain Corte Madera’s current half‐cent (1/2¢) sales tax, without any increase to that rate, only until April 2020 when the sales tax currently expires.
Measure F was placed on the ballot by the Town Council. A simple majority (50% plus 1) of the voters voting on the Measure must also approve it before it can take effect.
The above statement is an impartial analysis of Measure F.
s/TERESA L. STRICKER
Town Attorney for the Town of Corte Madera
ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF MEASURE F
A YES vote on Measure F will (a) eliminate the $98/year storm drain parcel tax; (b) extend the current Sales Tax Override, approved by voters in 2013; and (c) provide for a 0.25% increase in the sales tax. Eliminating the storm drain parcel tax will shift this burden from property owners to retail purchasers. This measure will increase the Sales Tax Override to 0.75%, bringing our total sales tax to 9.00%.
NON-RESIDENTS PAY THE MAJORITY OF SALES TAXES IN THE TOWN.
These sales tax funds will be prioritized for planned capital projects and help build reserves for unanticipated emergencies. To ensure fiscal accountability, there will be an annual audit of Override funds and a Citizen’s Oversight Committee will review and report on the uses of these sales taxes.
Corte Madera is especially vulnerable to environmental hazards due to its geography and climate. One-third of the Town is in the FEMA 100-year floodplain. The flooding in these areas will increase. Many of our hillsides are designated as Wildland-Urban Interface Fire Hazard Areas. The fire risk in these areas is likely to increase.
Measure F will provide us with a reliable and consistent funding source for capital projects so we are able to develop long-range engineering plans to mitigate these environmental hazards and implement effective construction programs. The sales tax will also furnish local matching funds for potential state and federal grants.
Capital projections (in millions):
Projects approved for completion by 2020: $11.0
- Flood control: $4.6
- Roadway maintenance, upgrades and pedestrian safety: $6.0
- Youth and senior programs: $0.3
Capital improvements 2020 to 2030: approximately $43.0
- Safe streets and sidewalks: $10.0
- Drainage repairs and flood control improvements: $20.0
- Roadway transport maintenance: $10.0
- Disaster Preparedness: $3.0
Flood Control Board Member and Parks and Recreation Commission Member
s/MARLA JANE ORTH
60-year resident and Founder of the Corte Madera Emergency Fund
s/KARL R. SPURZEM
30-year resident and former Chair of the Madera Gardens Improvement Association
ARGUMENT AGAINST MEASURE F
No argument against Measure F was filed.
FULL TEXT OF MEASURE F
ORDINANCE NO. 975
ORDINANCE OF THE TOWN OF CORTE MADERA (1) REPEALING SECTIONS 3.14.010 THROUGH 3.14.080 OF THE CORTE MADERA MUNICIPAL CODE (STORM SAFETY AND PROPERTY PROTECTION ACT – MEASURE C ADOPTED BY TOWN VOTERS AT THE 1997 ELECTION) TO END THE EXISTING SPECIAL PROPERTY TAX CURRENTLY IMPOSED FOR STORM DRAINAGE AND FLOOD CONTROL INFRASTRUCTURE.; (2) EXTENDING THE CURRENT 1/2¢ GENERAL TRANSACTIONS AND USE TAX AT A 3/4¢ RATE UNTIL ENDED BY VOTERS, TO BE ADMINISTERED BY THE CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF TAX AND FEE ADMINISTRATION; AND (3) REQUIRING AN ANNUAL AUDIT OF, AND A CITIZENS ADVISORY COMMITTEE TO OVERSEE, THE TRANSACTION AND USE TAX EXPENDITURES.
THE PEOPLE OF THE TOWN OF CORTE MADERA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
Section 1. Chapter 3.52 of the Corte Madera Municipal Code, as added by Ordinance No. 934, is hereby repealed.
Section 2. The Corte Madera Municipal Code is hereby amended to add Chapter 3.52 thereto to read as follows:
Section 3.52.010. TITLE. This ordinance shall be known as the Corte Madera Transactions and Use Tax Ordinance of 2018. The Town of Corte Madera hereinafter shall be called "Town." This ordinance shall be applicable in the incorporated territory of the Town.
Section 3.52.020. OPERATIVE DATE. "Operative Date" means the first day of the first calendar quarter commencing more than 110 days after the adoption of this ordinance, the date of such adoption being as set forth below.
Section 3.52.030 PURPOSE. This ordinance is adopted to achieve the following, among other purposes, and directs that the provisions hereof be interpreted in order to accomplish those purposes:
- To impose a retail transactions and use tax in accordance with the provisions of Part 1.6 (commencing with Section 7251) of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code and Section 7285.9 of Part 1.7 of Division 2 which authorizes the Town to adopt this tax ordinance which shall be operative if a majority of the electors voting on the measure vote to approve the imposition of the tax at an election called for that purpose.
- To adopt a retail transactions and use tax ordinance that incorporates provisions identical to those of the Sales and Use Tax Law of the State of California insofar as those provisions are not inconsistent with the requirements and limitations contained in Part 1.6 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.
- To adopt a retail transactions and use tax ordinance that imposes a tax and provides a measure that can be administered and collected by the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration in a manner that adapts itself as fully as practicable to, and requires the least possible deviation from, the existing statutory and administrative procedures followed by the State California Department of Tax and Fee Administration in administering and collecting the California State Sales and Use Taxes.
- To adopt a retail transactions and use tax ordinance that can be administered in a manner that will be, to the greatest degree possible, consistent with the provisions of Part 1.6 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, minimize the cost of collecting the transactions and use taxes, and at the same time, minimize the burden of record keeping upon persons subject to taxation under the provisions of this ordinance.
Section 3.52.040. CONTRACT WITH STATE. Prior to the operative date, the Town shall contract with the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration to perform all functions incident to the administration and operation of this transactions and use tax ordinance; provided, that if the Town shall not have contracted with the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration prior to the operative date, it shall nevertheless so contract and in such a case the operative date shall be the first day of the first calendar quarter following the execution of such a contract.
Section 3.52.050. TRANSACTIONS TAX RATE. For the privilege of selling tangible personal property at retail, a tax is hereby imposed upon all retailers in the incorporated territory of the Town at the rate of .75% of the gross receipts of any retailer from the sale of all tangible personal property sold at retail in said territory on and after the operative date of this ordinance.
Section 3.52.060. PLACE OF SALE. For the purposes of this ordinance, all retail sales are consummated at the place of business of the retailer unless the tangible personal property sold is delivered by the retailer or his agent to an out-of-state destination or to a common carrier for delivery to an out-of-state destination. The gross receipts from such sales shall include delivery charges, when such charges are subject to the state sales and use tax, regardless of the place to which delivery is made. In the event a retailer has no permanent place of business in the State or has more than one place of business, the place or places at which the retail sales are consummated shall be determined under rules and regulations to be prescribed and adopted by the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration.
Section 3.52.070. USE TAX RATE. An excise tax is hereby imposed on the storage, use or other consumption in the Town of tangible personal property purchased from any retailer on and after the operative date of this ordinance for storage, use or other consumption in said territory at the rate of .75% of the sales price of the property. The sales price shall include delivery charges when such charges are subject to state sales or use tax regardless of the place to which delivery is made.
Section 3.52.080. ADOPTION OF PROVISIONS OF STATE LAW. Except as otherwise provided in this ordinance and except insofar as they are inconsistent with the provisions of Part 1.6 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, all of the provisions of Part 1 (commencing with Section 6001) of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code are hereby adopted and made a part of this ordinance as though fully set forth herein.
Section 3.52.090. LIMITATIONS ON ADOPTION OF STATE LAW AND COLLECTION OF USE TAXES. In adopting the provisions of Part 1 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code:
- Wherever the State of California is named or referred to as the taxing agency, the name of this Town shall be substituted therefor. However, the substitution shall not be made when:
- The word "State" is used as a part of the title of the State Controller, State Treasurer, State Treasury, or the Constitution of the State of California;
- The result of that substitution would require action to be taken by or against this Town or any agency, officer, or employee thereof rather than by or against the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration, in performing the functions incident to the administration or operation of this Ordinance.
- In those sections, including, but not necessarily limited to sections referring to the exterior boundaries of the State of California, where the result of the substitution would be to:
- Provide an exemption from this tax with respect to certain sales, storage, use or other consumption of tangible personal property which would not otherwise be exempt from this tax while such sales, storage, use or other consumption remain subject to tax by the State under the provisions of Part 1 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, or;
- Impose this tax with respect to certain sales, storage, use or other consumption of tangible personal property which would not be subject to tax by the state under the said provision of that code.
- In Sections 6701, 6702 (except in the last sentence thereof), 6711, 6715, 6737, 6797 or 6828 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.
- The word "Town" shall be substituted for the word "State" in the phrase "retailer engaged in business in this State" in Section 6203 and in the definition of that phrase in Section 6203.
Section 3.52.100. PERMIT NOT REQUIRED. If a seller's permit has been issued to a retailer under Section 6067 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, an additional transactor's permit shall not be required by this ordinance.
Section 3.52.110. EXEMPTIONS AND EXCLUSIONS
- There shall be excluded from the measure of the transactions tax and the use tax the amount of any sales tax or use tax imposed by the State of California or by any Town, Town and county, or county pursuant to the Bradley-Burns Uniform Local Sales and Use Tax Law or the amount of any state-administered transactions or use tax.
- There are exempted from the computation of the amount of transactions tax the gross receipts from:
- Sales of tangible personal property, other than fuel or petroleum products, to operators of aircraft to be used or consumed principally outside the county in which the sale is made and directly and exclusively in the use of such aircraft as common carriers of persons or property under the authority of the laws of this State, the United States, or any foreign government.
- Sales of property to be used outside the Town which is shipped to a point outside the Town, pursuant to the contract of sale, by delivery to such point by the retailer or his agent, or by delivery by the retailer to a carrier for shipment to a consignee at such point. For the purposes of this paragraph, delivery to a point outside the Town shall be satisfied:
- With respect to vehicles (other than commercial vehicles) subject to registration pursuant to Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 4000) of Division 3 of the Vehicle Code, aircraft licensed in compliance with Section 21411 of the Public Utilities Code, and undocumented vessels registered under Division 3.5 (commencing with Section 9840) of the Vehicle Code by registration to an out-of-Town address and by a declaration under penalty of perjury, signed by the buyer, stating that such address is, in fact, his or her principal place of residence; and
- With respect to commercial vehicles, by registration to a place of business out-of-Town and declaration under penalty of perjury, signed by the buyer, that the vehicle will be operated from that address.
- The sale of tangible personal property if the seller is obligated to furnish the property for a fixed price pursuant to a contract entered into prior to the operative date of this ordinance.
- A lease of tangible personal property which is a continuing sale of such property, for any period of time for which the lessor is obligated to lease the property for an amount fixed by the lease prior to the operative date of this ordinance.
- For the purposes of subparagraphs (3) and (4) of this section, the sale or lease of tangible personal property shall be deemed not to be obligated pursuant to a contract or lease for any period of time for which any party to the contract or lease has the unconditional right to terminate the contract or lease upon notice, whether or not such right is exercised.
- There are exempted from the use tax imposed by this ordinance, the storage, use or other consumption in this Town of tangible personal property:
- The gross receipts from the sale of which have been subject to a transactions tax under any state-administered transactions and use tax ordinance.
- Other than fuel or petroleum products purchased by operators of aircraft and used or consumed by such operators directly and exclusively in the use of such aircraft as common carriers of persons or property for hire or compensation under a certificate of public convenience and necessity issued pursuant to the laws of this State, the United States, or any foreign government. This exemption is in addition to the exemptions provided in Sections 6366 and 6366.1 of the Revenue and Taxation Code of the State of California.
- If the purchaser is obligated to purchase the property for a fixed price pursuant to a contract entered into prior to the operative date of this ordinance.
- If the possession of, or the exercise of any right or power over, the tangible personal property arises under a lease which is a continuing purchase of such property for any period of time for which the lessee is obligated to lease the property for an amount fixed by a lease prior to the operative date of this ordinance.
- For the purposes of subparagraphs (3) and (4) of this section, storage, use, or other consumption, or possession of, or exercise of any right or power over, tangible personal property shall be deemed not to be obligated pursuant to a contract or lease for any period of time for which any party to the contract or lease has the unconditional right to terminate the contract or lease upon notice, whether or not such right is exercised.
- Except as provided in subparagraph (7), a retailer engaged in business in the Town shall not be required to collect use tax from the purchaser of tangible personal property, unless the retailer ships or delivers the property into the Town or participates within the Town in making the sale of the property, including, but not limited to, soliciting or receiving the order, either directly or indirectly, at a place of business of the retailer in the Town or through any representative, agent, canvasser, solicitor, subsidiary, or person in the Town under the authority of the retailer.
- "A retailer engaged in business in the Town" shall also include any retailer of any of the following: vehicles subject to registration pursuant to Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 4000) of Division 3 of the Vehicle Code, aircraft licensed in compliance with Section 21411 of the Public Utilities Code, or undocumented vessels registered under Division 3.5 (commencing with Section 9840) of the Vehicle Code. That retailer shall be required to collect use tax from any purchaser who registers or licenses the vehicle, vessel, or aircraft at an address in the Town.
- Any person subject to use tax under this ordinance may credit against that tax any transactions tax or reimbursement for transactions tax paid to a district imposing, or retailer liable for a transactions tax pursuant to Part 1.6 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code with respect to the sale to the person of the property the storage, use or other consumption of which is subject to the use tax.
Section 3.52.120. AMENDMENTS. All amendments subsequent to the effective date of this ordinance to Part 1 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code relating to sales and use taxes and which are not inconsistent with Part 1.6 and Part 1.7 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, and all amendments to Part 1.6 and Part 1.7 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, shall automatically become a part of this ordinance, provided however, that no such amendment shall operate so as to affect the rate of tax imposed by this ordinance.
Section 3.52.140. ENJOINING COLLECTION FORBIDDEN. No injunction or writ of mandate or other legal or equitable process shall issue in any suit, action or proceeding in any court against the State or the Town, or against any officer of the State or the Town, to prevent or enjoin the collection under this ordinance, or Part 1.6 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, of any tax or any amount of tax required to be collected.”
Section 3.52.150. 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.
Section 3.52.160. EFFECTIVE DATE. This ordinance relates to the levying and collecting of the Town transactions and use taxes and shall take effect immediately.”
Section 3. The Corte Madera Municipal Code is hereby amended by adding Section 3.52.170 thereto to read as follows:
Section 3.52.170 – General Tax. The transactions and use tax imposed in this chapter is a general tax. All of the proceeds of the tax shall be paid into the General Fund and may be spent for the unrestricted general revenue purposes of the Town.”
Section 4. The Corte Madera Municipal Code is hereby amended by adding Section 3.52.180 thereto to read as follows:
“Section 3.52.180 – Annual Audit; Citizens Oversight Committee
- By no later than December 31 of each year after the operative date, the Town's independent auditors shall complete a report reviewing the collection, management and expenditure of revenue from the tax authorized by this Chapter. The auditors’ report shall be presented to the Town Council and made available to the public.
- Prior to the operative date, the Town Council shall (a) adopt a resolution establishing the composition of an advisory committee of no more than five residents of the Town to review and annually report on the revenue and expenditure of the funds from the tax adopted by this ordinance, (b) define the scope of the committee's responsibilities, and (c) appoint at least a quorum of the members of the committee. Town employees, consultants, or vendors are expressly precluded from serving as members of the committee. The committee's reports shall be presented to the Council and made available to the public.”
Section 5. Sections 3.14.010 through 3.14.080 of the Corte Madera Municipal Code, imposing and implementing a special tax of ninety-eight dollars per year for each residential unit and ninety-eight dollars per one thousand square feet of floor area per year for each nonresidential use, for the purposes of constructing and maintaining storm and flood protection facilities, are hereby repealed.
Section 6. Environmental Determination. The Council finds that the adoption and implementation of this ordinance are exempt from the provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act under section 15061(b)3 in that the Council finds there is no possibility that the implementation of this ordinance may have significant effects on the environment.
Section 7. Severability. If any provisionn 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.
This ordinance was introduced by the Corte Madera Town Council on March 6, 2018. THE FOREGOING ORDINANCE was adopted by declaration of the vote by the Corte Madera Town Council on the ___ day of March, 2018, at a regular meeting of the Corte Madera Town Council, subject to voter approval, on June 5, 2018, by the following vote:
ATTEST: Town Clerk
APPROVED AS TO FORM: Town Attorney