Voter's Edge California Voter Guide
Get the facts before you vote.
Brought to you by
League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
San Mateo County Libraries Voter Guide@SMCLibraries
November 8, 2016 — California General Election
We depend on your support.
Share your knowledge

Text VOTE to 52000 to donate $10.

Do you feel better informed having used Voter's Edge?

Help us inform other voters.


City of Downey
Measure S - Majority Approval Required

To learn more about measures, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.

Election Results


21,493 votes yes (63.06%)

12,592 votes no (36.94%)

100% of precincts reporting (57/57).

To maintain and improve city services including city-run police and fire departments, paramedic/9-1-1 emergency response, anti-gang/drug/crime programs, school safety, after-school and seniors programs; ensure fire engines and emergency vehicles have updated equipment; and repair streets/potholes; shall the ordinance to increase the sales tax by one-half of one percent, providing $9,000,000 annually, to expire after 20 years, requiring audits, public disclosure of funds, and all funds only for Downey be adopted?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

YES vote means

yes vote is a vote in favor of authorizing the ½ cent transactions and use tax for a period of twenty years.

NO vote means



City of Downey

Our City’s first priority is protecting the safety of our citizens and maintaining a quality of life we all value in our community. In order to provide stable, local funding to meet these needs, the Downey City Council voted on June 28, 2016 to place Measure S, a Transactions and Use Tax Measure on the November 8, 2016 ballot. This measure would:

  • Maintain a city-run Police Department and Fire Department which ensures quick response times to Downey emergencies, saving lives and keeping our community safe
  • Put more police officers on the streetand enhance police services to support crime, gang and drug prevention programs like safe and supervised activities for kids that keep them off the streets, away from gangs and out of trouble
  • Ensure fire engines and emergency vehicles have updated equipment 
  • Ensure adequate funding for parks, youth and senior programs and keep Downey one of the safest cities, with the highest quality of life, in the area
  • Invest in early repairs of streets and sidewalks to continue to improve Downey’s business community and avoid extremely costly repairs in the future

Measure S proposes to increase the sales tax by one-half cent.  By increasing our sales tax, this measure would provide nine million dollars for Downey annually that could not be taken by Sacramento. An independent citizens’ oversight committee would guarantee all funds are spent properly.

Impartial analysis / Proposal


Voter approval of this Measure would amend the Downey Municipal Code to add a transactions and use (sales) tax for a period of twenty years on the sale and/or use of all non-exempt tangible personal property sold at retail in the City at the rate of ½ cent for every dollar spent (or ½ percent). The tax would automatically terminate after the 20th year. If approved, the tax would go into effect on or after April 1, 2017.

The Measure was placed on the ballot by the Downey City Council and proposes a general tax, the revenue from which would be placed in the Citys general fund to be used for city services such as police and fire services, paramedic and emergency response services, afterschool and senior programs, and to repair and maintain city streets. The Measure requires a majority vote of the electorate casting votes at the election.

The measure requires that a five-member independent citizens advisory committee be established to review expenditures of the revenue generated from the tax, to examine annual audit reports related to the tax, and to make a written annual report to the City Council summarizing the committee’s findings and appropriate recommendations. The committee would meet at least quarterly and its meetings would be open to the public.

The proposed tax would be administered by the California State Board of Equalization in the same manner that sales tax is currently administered so as to reduce the cost of collecting the tax and to minimize the burden of record-keeping upon retailers.


A yes vote is a vote in favor of authorizing the ½ cent transactions and use tax for a period of twenty years. A no” vote is a vote against authorizing the transaction and use tax.

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Use tabs to select your choice. Use return to create a choice. You can access your choices by navigating to 'My Choices'.

Please share this site to help others research their voting choices.