El Cerrito Preservation of Citywide Services Funding Measure
In November 2014, El Cerrito voters approved the extension of Measure R at the one percent sales tax rate for twelve years. The new sales tax rate goes into effect on April 1, 2015 and will sunset (end) on March 31, 2027.
If you are a business owner and have questions about the collection of this sales tax at the new rate, please contact the California State Board of Equalization or visit the BOE website
Measure R is a commitment to maintain the high quality of life enjoyed by residents and businesses in El Cerrito. During this past decade, the high level of customer service provided by the City to residents and the business community was achieved through creativity, fiscal prudence, and living within our means. Funding from the Measure R extension will enable the City to address community priorities, including to:
• Maintain rapid 9-1-1 response times, neighborhood police patrols, crime prevention and investigation
• Maintain current levels of firefighters, fire protection and emergency medical services
• Maintain earthquake and disaster preparedness
• Maintain after-school programs for children and teens
• Maintain and improve city parks, playfields, paths and open spaces
The Measure R extension will allow the City to maintain essential services while fulfilling our commitment to the community's priorities. Through the annual budget process, the City Council will continue to determine how best to allocate Measure R funds and General Fund monies towards maintaining essential services based on community priorities. During the budgeting process each year, the City Council establishes priorities for services, and matches those services to estimated available resources. The public is encouraged to participate throughout the budgeting process, which includes numerous public meetings. For information on the City's annual budget process, visit the budget page.
Both Measure R (approved in 2010) and the Measure R extension (approved in 2014) include fiscal accountability provisions including annual independent financial audits, an annual report to the City Council and residents, and review of all expenditures from the measure by the Financial Advisory Board (or "FAB") to provide citizens oversight.
BackgroundIn 2010, voters approved Measure R as a half-percent sales tax increase for seven years to maintain the level of programs and services offered in FY2009-10. However, state takeaways and the sluggish economy put considerable strain on El Cerrito’s ability to continue to provide the public safety and quality of life services that residents rely on.
On July 15, 2014, the El Cerrito City Council unanimously placed a measure on the November 2014 ballot to extend the existing voter-approved Measure R at the one cent rate for twelve years. The El Cerrito Preservation of Citywide Services Funding Measure appeared as Measure R and read:
To continue to protect/ maintain City services, including fire
prevention/ emergency services; emergency response times;
neighborhood police patrols; firefighter/ police staffing; crime
prevention/ investigation resources; after-school programs;
library hours/ programs; senior services; open space, parks,
paths/ playfields; other general City services, shall El Cerrito
extend the existing voter-approved sales tax and set the future
rate at one cent for 12 years, with citizens' oversight, annual
audits, and all funds staying local, none to Sacramento?
|YES / NO
Public Information Materials:
Informational Postcard (sent out in October)
Article in the Fall Recreation Dept. Activity Guide
Measure R article in the Fall issue of News and Views
Garbage Bill insert (sent out in September)
Informational Mailer (sent out in September)
FAQ sheet about the Measure R extension (revised 8/28/14)
Informational Presentation (Handout of Slides)
Notice for the City Ballot Measure Election
Resolution 2014-36 and Ballot Question
Full Text of Ordinance
City Attorney Impartial Analysis
Primary Argument Filed in Favor of Measure
July 15, 2014 City Council meeting agenda bill, or watch the meeting video via the Streaming Media Archive
Learn more about the City’s Biennial Budget for Fiscal Years 2014-15 and FY 2015-16