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November 8, 2016 — Elección General de California

City of La Palma
Measure JJ Ordinance - Majority Approval Required

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Resultados electorales

Se aprueba

3,775 votos si (60.3%)

2,481 votos no (39.7%)

100% de distritos activos (11/11).

Shall Ordinance No. 2016-1, establishing a one percent sales tax, to remain in effect until ended or modified by the voters, and raising an estimated $1,500,000 annually for any and all governmental purposes of the City, which may include any general fund services such as police patrols and crime prevention; 9-1-1 emergency response; and street maintenance/pothole repair; with the requirement for public audits and disclosures of all funds spent, be adopted?

¿Qué es esta propuesta?

Información básica sobre la iniciativa de ley — Información oficial sobre esta iniciativa

Un voto por el SÍ significa

A “Yes” vote is a vote in favor of adopting this Measure to authorize the proposed 1% City sales tax.

Un voto por el NO significa

A “No” vote is a vote against adopting the 1% City sales tax.


No document was submitted.

Análisis del analista legislativo / Proposal

La Palma City Attorney

The La Palma City Council has placed a measure on the ballot for the November 8, 2016 general municipal election (the “Measure”), asking the City’s voters to approve an ordinance enacting a 1% City “transactions and use” tax, which is commonly known as a “sales tax”. If approved by La Palma’s voters, the Measure would impose a City tax that would add one cent to the cost of a $1.00 item purchased in La Palma; the City would begin collecting that sales tax on April 1, 2017.
Sales taxes are levied on the sale or use of tangible personal property sold at retail. Retailers collect the tax at the time of sale and remit the funds to the State Board of Equalization, which distributes the tax revenues in accordance with statutory requirements. The current tax on sales by retail sellers in La Palma is 8% of the retail sale price. The City receives 1% of this 8%, with the remainder of the tax revenue allocated for State, County and school purposes.

This Measure would authorize the City to impose an additional 1% sales tax, to increase the total sales tax rate on retail sales in La Palma from 8% to 9%. If the Measure passes, a consumer purchasing taxable items in La Palma costing $10,000 after April 1, 2017 would pay an additional $100. The City estimates that the proposed sales tax will generate an additional $1,500,000 annually, but the actual amounts raised will vary based on the level of retail sales occurring in La Palma.

All revenue generated by this Measure would be placed in the City’s general fund and be available to fund any and all City services, programs and projects, including but not limited to police protection, recreational programs and street maintenance. Under current law, all revenue generated by the proposed sales tax would be protected from being diverted from the City and its services, programs and projects, because the California Constitution prohibits the State Legislature from reallocating, transferring, borrowing or otherwise using the proceeds of any tax imposed or levied by a local government solely for its purposes.

A “Yes” vote is a vote in favor of adopting this Measure to authorize the proposed 1% City sales tax, while a “No” vote is a vote against adopting the 1% City sales tax. If a simple majority of the voters voting on the Measure vote “Yes,” then this Measure will be approved and the ordinance authorizing the 1% City sales tax will be adopted. This Measure will take effect ten days following the date on which the La Palma City Council declares that the Measure was approved by a majority of the La Palma voters voting on the Measure at the November 8, 2016 election.

The above statement is an impartial analysis of the Measure. If you desire a copy of the ordinance or Measure, please call the La Palma election official’s office at (714) 690-3334, and a copy will be mailed at no cost to you.

Dated: July 14, 2016

s/ Joel D. Kuperberg
City Attorney

Efectos fiscales

No document filed.

Tax rate

No document filed.

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Argumento A FAVOR

Protect La Palma’s quality of life and public safety services - Vote YES on JJ!
YES on JJ provides reliable, locally-controlled funding for priorities our community has identified as being important:

     • Keeping our City clean and graffiti-free
     • Maintaining 911 Emergency Response, crime prevention and police investigation services
     • Maintaining public parks and recreation facilities including our courts, fields, and playgrounds
     • Preventing gang activity and drug-related crimes
     • Maintaining public infrastructure: our streets, storm drains, and sidewalks

YES on JJ Keeps Taxpayer Funds Local – by law, Sacramento can’t touch this money.

YES on JJ Maintains Our Local, La Palma Police Department – La Palma is one of the few small cities in Orange County with its own police department - guaranteeing proactive neighborhood police patrols and one of the lowest 911 emergency response times in the County. YES on JJ allows us to maintain our own local police department with officers who know our community and make your safety their first and only priority.

YES on JJ Keeps La Palma A Special Place To Live – La Palma is a special place to live with an outstanding quality of life. The City has responded to a major drop in revenues by reforming employee pensions, reducing the workforce by 20%, reducing employee pay, delaying infrastructure maintenance, and cutting City services, including a reduction in police officers. Even with these cuts, the City continues to have a structural deficit. There is simply no more room to cut and keep our community a safe, clean place to live. YES on JJ protects our quality of life and keeps La Palma the special community it is for residents and families.

Join City Council members and residents from all walks of life -- vote YES on JJ to preserve La Palma‘s high quality of life and public safety services. For factual information about Measure JJ, visit

s/ Gerard Goedhart

s/ Michele Steggell
Mayor Pro Tem

s/ Peter L. Kim
Council Member

s/ Mark Waldman
Former Mayor

s/ Steve Shanahan
Council Member

— Orange County Registrar of Voters

Argumento EN CONTRA

Demand responsible action from our City Council.
Don’t pay their PENSION TAX. Vote NO on JJ!

Proponents are not being transparent that they will spend your money on employee PENSIONS, not police patrols, park improvements or street maintenance.

In 2015 alone, we paid the Police Chief $255,605, City Manager $223,704, a Police Sergeant $204,643, and Community Development Director, who manages only two employees, $183,365. In the past three years this Council granted five uncontested employee promotions which pay hundreds of thousands of dollars more in lifetime PENSION benefits.

In the past twelve years we’ve paid over $15,000,000 into PENSIONS and still owe $12,381,116 in unfunded liability. Rising PENSION costs for a few dozen employees have forced cuts to our parks, recreation, and infrastructure.

The Council majority ignored the Citizen Committee’s STRONG recommendation to evaluate proven, cost-effective police alternatives and instead spent $80,000 on a community survey designed to trick voters to support a tax. Their goal is to preserve status quo. Structural deficits require structural solutions. Their remedy? Another PENSION TAX!

Proponents do not disclose they returned $1,791,071 in tax rebates to one business since 2014. Now they need you to pay $1,500,000 more annually to counteract their flawed deal.

We already pay income, property, sales, and utility user taxes and now they want us to pay millions more. Every time you buy a drink, or eat a meal in La Palma, or purchase a vehicle anywhere, this PENSION TAX makes it more expensive.

Scare tactics predict slow emergency response and more crime without a tax. Don’t buy the lie. There are sustainable, proven solutions that keep us all safe. Proponents want you to pay more because they did less.

Make the council do its job. Demand genuine structural solutions. NO on JJ!

For complete facts visit

s/ Keith Nelson
Citizen Committee on La Palma’s Sustainability Chairman and Former Mayor

s/ Robert Carruth
Citizen Committee on La Palma’s Sustainability Member

— Orange County Registrar of Voters

Refutación al argumento A FAVOR

Proponents have made statements intended to scare and divide residents. They want you to believe opponents do not support our local police department. NOT TRUE. We whole-heartedly support police here and in surrounding cities.

Our city has a structural deficit. Tough decisions take hard work. Higher taxes are not a structural solution; they are short-sighted and unstable. We need solutions which permanently fix the problem.

Today, when a business like yours faces a structural deficit, to survive it must look at the foundations of production and service. It can’t just raise prices; it must transform itself to survive.


There are proven, cost-effective alternatives that deliver excellent service. Read about the Central Marin Police Authority’s true success story at More is possible with visionary leadership.

What worked in 1955 when we incorporated, or in 2005 when we celebrated 50 years, does not work in 2016. We have sufficient financial reserves to bridge us to a healthier, more secure future. Ask the city council to work diligently, gather all the facts and conduct an honest, impartial dialogue of every alternative.

Our community deserves to hear the whole truth first. Make them tell it.


s/ Keith Nelson
Citizen Committee on Sustainability Chairman and Former Mayor

s/ Robert Carruth
Citizen Committee on Sustainability Member and Resident

— Orange County Registrar of Voters

Refutación al argumento EN CONTRA

In response to rising costs and a 24% drop in revenue the La Palma City Council has:

     • Reformed Employee Pensions and Reduced Employee Pay
     • Reorganized Operations and Reduced the Workforce by 20%
     • Cut City Services - including community policing and school programs

THESE STRUCTURAL CHANGES SAVE OVER $1.77 MILLION/YEAR but it’s just not enough to solve the operational deficit.

Opponents don’t tell you:

     • Pension liability has been reduced by $3,900,000 because of the above City Council actions. The City’s pension liability obligations will still exist                      regardless of additional cuts or outsourcing.

     • 3 not 5 employees were reclassified - as part of a Citywide reorganization to cut costs.

     • The City spent $24,800 not $80,000 to survey our community on your priorities.

     • The sales tax rebate was necessary to attract a business to replace one that left – without it, the City would be in even worse shape!

     • The Sustainability Committee was adamant that services should not suffer further.

     • Finally, the Sustainability Committee recommended a sales tax be considered by the City Council.

THE OPPONENTS OFFER NO SOLUTIONS. Instead, they insist we can continue to reduce services without damaging our quality of life. The City has taken actions for years to reduce costs. Now, residents have to choose between maintaining the La Palma Police Department or contracting out for reduced police services.

We must solve our financial problems to protect our Quality of Life and Property Values.

We urge you to VOTE YES on JJ. The future of our City is up to you.

s/ Gerard Goedhart
Mayor s/ Steve Shanahan Council Member

s/ Mark Waldman
Citizen Committee on La Palma’s Sustainability Vice Chair and Former Mayor

s/ Jan Jensen
Citizen Committee on La Palma’s Sustainability Member

s/ Christine Kim
Citizen Committee on La Palma’s Sustainability Member

— Orange County Registrar of Voters
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