Pinole’s Measure S – Opposition


The CCT is opposing the Pinole Sales tax measure.
The Contra Costa Tax Payer’s Association has pointed put that this sales tax increase does not have a sunset date (therefore it is indefinite and permanent) and there is no oversight committee to review the expenditure of these funds.

Pinole’s current sales tax is 9%.
If the new tax measure passes Pinole’s sales tax rate will be 9.5%.
That would match the current sales tax rate in El Cerrito.

Sales Tax Rates in neighboring communities
The State Sales Tax is 7.5%.

El Cerrito 9.5%

Kensington 8.5%

Rodeo 8.5%

Hercules 9%

San Pablo 9%

Richmond 9%

Pinole 9%

Population by City, per Census (as noted):

El Cerrito
(2012) 24,048

(2010) 5,077

(2010) 8,679

(2012) 24,660

San Pablo
(2012) 29,720

(2012) 106,516

Pinole (2012) 18,729

Will you pay more to live in Pinole?

Can the City of Pinole, considering its limited growth potential, continue to consider itself a Full Service City?
Will parcel taxes, sales tax increases and special assessments be the only source of sustainable revenue the city can rely on to maintain the Full Service City designation with a stagnant population of less than 20,000?

Currently the City has established Enterprise Funds to support some of the services previously considered part of a full-service city designation. Among them, Parks and Rec, which includes the Senior Center and Pinole Cable TV.
These departments are now struggling to get by. The loss of revenue as well as the loss of Redevelopment Funds has dictated new strategies for budgeting.

It seems likely that services currently being offered through fund raising activities will need general fund support via new fees, taxes or assessments.
The same logic applies to the funding of Police, Fire and Public Works. Without development or growth (yes Pinole can always rely on its business to keep it afloat) how long before taxpayers are asked to pay more for basic services?

Is Pinole enamored with its Full Service City title?
Are taxpayers willing to accept more taxes, fees, and assessments in order to maintain the Full Service City status?
Data derived from the League of California Cities:

City Responsibilities Differ:
Comparing revenues and expenditures of different cities can be difficult because cities vary according to the needs of their constituents and the nature of the local economy, as well as the service and financial responsibilities of the city.
Less than 25 percent of California cities are full service cities, responsible for funding all of the major city general fund-supported services such as police, fire, library, parks and recreation and planning.
In about three out of 10 California communities, a special district provides fire services with property tax revenue that would otherwise go to the city.
In six out of 10 cities, library services are provided and funded by another public agency.
On the revenue side, these differences in financial responsibility among cities are generally reflected in the allocation of property tax revenue.
Other city tax rates and allocations are unrelated to service responsibility.

Trends in California City Finance
The following list summarizes trends in California city finance.

  • State and federal aid to California cities is declining, down from 21 percent of a city’s budget in 1974–75 to 10 percent today.
  • The sales tax base is declining, due to a shift toward a service-oriented economy and increasing Internet and catalog retail sales.
  • Limitations on taxes and fees that cities can impose are driven by
    13, Prop. 218 and other state laws.
  • State population growth is higher in cities.
  • Cities must respond to citizens’ demand for a greater array of services that bring with them additional costs and new challenges (high tech, cable, transit, etc.).
  • Public safety spending is up.
  • Infrastructure improvements and maintenance are lagging.

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1 thought on “Pinole’s Measure S – Opposition

  1. I have long advocated regionalization of city services, especially first responders. The savings from efficiency of size and flexibility are easily grasped by any caring taxpayer. Why all the extra administration salaries and infrastructure? Put the money where the rubber meets the road and increase the patrols for police and move closer to reopening Station 74 as part of Con Fire. In Pinole, the infusion of tawdry politics are taking a ridiculous toll on the City’s unfortunate failing at hiring firemen. Four new firemen were sworn in at a Council Meeting in January 2014. Six months later, we have already lost 2 of the 4. With recent changes to retirement rules, Contra Costa and Alameda Counties are seing a surge of retirements, most notably firefighter positions. Now that Con Fire will be advertising for multiple positions, how many Pinole firefighters will leave?? 2014 is shaping up to be one of the worst fire seasons on record and Pinole cant seem to find a way to hire and keep firefighters. The firemen are also the ONLY labor unit that has not agreed to a contract. The Management and City Council of Pinole are wholly unable to fulfill basic needs like Public Safety. We need to take it out of their purview…

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