UUT, The Pinole Utility Users Tax
My position: I support it.
The City of Pinole, like many other California cities has used the Utility Users Tax to enhance revenue. UUT rates vary from 1% to 11%. Utility Users Tax Facts.
This tax is a general tax that requires a majority 50%+1 vote to pass. The revenue generated will go to the General Fund (GF).
The current Utility Users Tax (UUT), 8% for eight years, was approved by the voters in 1998. The UUT accounts for approximately 20% of the City’s revenue, or $2 million.
With the State of California raiding local city coffers in order to balance its budget, every dollar the city receives in revenue is in jeopardy, unless, it is revenue that is locally controlled. The UUT is such a tax and therefore the revenue derived from the UUT can not be taken by the State.
I favor the extension of the UUT because we need to have this revenue source in order to allow us time to re-evaluate our expenses, review our organizational structure and develop new sources of revenue. Without it the city will continue its free fall.
Without the UUT the things that make Pinole a place people want to live and invest in, a safe, clean city, with parks, a community Swim Center and Pinole Cable TV access, are in jeopardy.
There is no guarantee that the State will not find new and creative ways to raid our cookie jar. But, with the extension of the UUT, we can roll up our sleeves, take a good hard look at where we are, where we’re going and begin to develop a plan for the future of Pinole.
UUT Ballot measure language:
Primary Argument in Favor of the Measure M
The Pinole Utility Users Tax is NOT A NEW TAX; it is a RENEWAL of an existing local surcharge on gas, electricity, and telephone usage that has been part of Pinole’s finances for 21 years. It accounts for approximately 20% of Pinole’s budget. The city asks for a renewal of this tax every 8 years. It is paid by homeowners, renters, and businesses, and includes protections for low-income residents.
Without its renewal, drastic cuts will occur to our police, fire, and maintenance staffs that will undercut the safety and attractiveness of Pinole.
We all know Pinole is a great place to live. Our dedicated police and fire departments ensure the safety of everyone who lives, works, and shops in Pinole.
Our parks and recreation facilities offer excellent programs, community events, and services for everyone. Unique and family owned shops and restaurants exist along clean, safe, and well lighted streets.
All of these will be adversely affected if the Pinole Utility Users Tax is not renewed. With the exception of one year (it was repealed in 1997, many city services were cut, and Pinole voters immediately reinstated it in 1998), the Pinole Utility Users Tax has provided significant funding for our city since 1991.
The economic downturn and the raiding of our city finds by Sacramento severely wounded California cities. Pinole’s budget has already been reduced more than $4 million, necessitating the elimination of 1/3 of city staff (53 positions) and a significant reduction in salary and benefits, through major concessions, by all remaining city workers.
The city will be forced to eliminate another 14.5 staff positions, including 5 police officers, 2 firefighters, and 7 other crucial positions, if the Pinole Utility Users Tax is not renewed.
Vote YES to renew the Pinole Utility Users tax.
Keep Pinole PINOLE.