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2014 Local Sales Tax Increase Measures

in the City of Atascadero - FAQ's:

Please note: The City is legally prohibited from promoting or opposing candidates, political committees or ballot measures. The answers to the questions posted below are factual statements taken from published reports and/or from the ballot measure language and ordinance, and in no way either promote or oppose the ballot measure up for voter consideration in November, 2014.
Q. What are the local sales tax measures on the ballot this year in Atascadero?  A. There are two local ballot measures on the November 2014 ballot that pertain to a temporary local sales tax increase in the City of Atascadero, they are Advisory Measure #E-14, and General Measure #F-14.
Q. What is an Advisory Measure?  A.  An Advisory Measure is a non-binding question on the ballot that determines and advises the governing body of voter attitudes on matters of concern.This is what you'll see on your November ballot: 
If the voters of the City of Atascadero approve a one half cent limited term general sales tax increase, should the additional revenues be used for the purpose of repairing and maintaining neighborhood roads and other roadways?
Q. What is the General Measure on the ballot? A. The second measure for Atascadero this year is a General Measure; this is what you'll see on your November ballot:
To provide funding that cannot be seized by the State, and will stay in Atascadero to be used for such things as the repair of neighborhood roads and aging roadways along with other vital City needs - Shall the City of Atascadero’s sales tax rate be temporarily increased to include a local general sales tax of a one half cent, for a period of 12 years, with citizen committee oversight, published annual reporting and independent financial audits?
Q. What is the difference between a General Sales Tax Measure and a Special Sales Tax Measure? A. A Special Sales Tax Measure requires a 2/3 plus 1 majority vote in order to pass, and legally restricts the funds to a special purpose. A General Sales Tax Measure requires a 50% plus 1 majority vote to pass, and may be used for any legal purpose. Measure #F-14 is a General Sales Tax Measure.
Q. What is the current sales tax rate in Atascadero, and how much will it go up?  A. The current local sales tax rate in Atascadero is 7.5%. The proposed sales tax increase is for one half of one percent; if passed, the sales tax in Atascadero would go to 8%.
Q. When would the sales tax increase go into effect, and how long will it last?  A. If passed by the voters in November 2014, the tax would become effective no sooner than April 1, 2015. The proposed sales tax measure is for a limited term of 12 years.
Q. Why 12 years?  A. It is estimated that it will take approximately two years from the time the measure is voted on to actually begin receiving the revenue, implement the program and design the first project, and then there would be 10 years of road repair programs.
Q. How much additional revenue is expected from this sales tax increase?  A. It is estimated that a half-cent local sales tax increase would generate between $1.7 to $2.0 (one point seven to two) million dollars annually in Atascadero.
Q. Will the Sales Tax increase revenue be spent on the Del Rio Road/Highway 101 Interchange Project? A. No. The City Council passed a resolution at their meeting of October 14, 2014 which includes language that states   "Does Not Include: Road Improvements – road widening, bikeways, new roads, roundabouts;  or any road work or road improvements at the Del Rio/101 interchange or any traffic mitigation required as part of the Walmart and Annex projects".  Please see the full language of the Resolution here: Resolution 2014-066
Q. What does "repairing and maintaining neighborhood roads and other roadways" roads ?  A. As per the Resolution #2014-066 linked above, the intent of the advisory measure language is as follows: 
  • Intent of Advisory Language
  • Includes Road Repair Projects – rehabilitations, overlays, cold-in place recycling,reconstructions, etc.
  • Includes Road Maintenance Projects – slurry seals, crack sealing, chip-sealing,micro-surfacing, etc.
  • Does Not Include: Routine Road Maintenance – minor pothole repair, vegetation control, shoulder control, street staffing, etc.
  • Does Not Include: Road Improvements – road widening, bikeways, new roads, roundabouts;  or any road work or road improvements at the Del Rio/101interchange or any traffic mitigation required as part of the Walmart and Annex projects
  • Includes Neighborhood/Local Roads
  • Includes Collector Roads
  • Includes Arterial Roads
  • Includes storm drain improvements necessary to preserve/protect/repair the road
  • Includes bridge surface and structural repairs
  • Includes staff time spent directly on the project – design, bidding, inspection,construction engineering and construction oversight
  • Does NOT include general administration and overhead
  • ADA Improvements Must Be Included in Road Projects – If sidewalks in road project area, must bring them into compliance with current requirements.
Q. What kinds of accounting and reporting will be done to help ensure that the funds from this sales tax increase are spent on roads?   A. As per the ordinance which was reviewed and approved by the City Council at their meeting of June 24, 2014: "An Annual Road Report shall be prepared by the City no later than the last day of the sixth month following the end of each City fiscal year. The Report shall be submitted to the Citizens' Oversight Committee for review. The Committee will submit their findings and conclusions to the City Council. The Report will also be made available to the public. The Annual Road Report shall detail the prior fiscal year's activities related to the retail transaction and use tax. The Report shall include revenues generated by the Transaction and Use Tax, expenditures (in summary form), funds carried over from previous fiscal years, and any remaining funds to be carried over for expenditure in subsequent fiscal years".  The ordinance also provides for independent audits as follows: "The amount generated by this new general purpose revenue source and how it was used shall be included in the annual audit of the City's financial operations by an independent certified public accountant".

Q. How do I know that the additional revenue from this sales tax measure will be used for road repairs and maintenance, will there be any oversight?  A. As per the ordinance which was reviewed and approved by the City Council at their meeting of June 24, 2014: "There shall be a permanent citizens' advisory committee called the "Citizens' Oversight Committee" (hereafter 'Committee") which shall annually review revenues and expenditures from the collection of the tax. The committee shall have 9 members. Seven members shall be appointed to the committee by individual Atascadero community groups.  Two members shall be appointed by the City Council. Appointees shall be residents of the City; however, no member of the Committee shall be an elected official".

Q. How do I know which roads in Atascadero are City-maintained roads that may benefit from this additional revenue?  A. Please see this map of City-maintained and non-maintained roads in Atascadero:  Interactive Map of City Maintained and non maintained roads
For further information and detail regarding the June 24, 2014 City Council meeting including staff presentations and council deliberations, please access the following links:
Category: Measure F-14

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