Town of Paradise

Measure C - FAQs

What is “Measure C” all about?

It is the Town’s responsibility to provide public services that benefit our community – things like police protection, fire suppression, emergency medical services, street maintenance and road repairs, animal control and shelter services and other necessary services that benefit all Paradise residents and visitors.  Maintaining these public services isn’t cheap.  In particular, the great recession of the last few years has impacted the Town’s budget resulting in nearly 3.8 million dollar loss.  While the economy is showing modest signs of improvement, property taxes, which represent 46% of the Town’s income, are capped at 2% growth per year and it is projected that it will take us about 6-7 years to get back to pre-recession revenues.

 

What will the Town do with the Money?

·        Police – Over the past six years Paradise Police have been stretched extremely thin.  The department needs adequate staffing in several critical areas in order to keep pace with changes in crime patterns.  There are currently 4 frozen Police Officer positions and 2 Sergeant Positions.  Statistically, crime in our area is increasing.  The Department’s Police cars average 9.7 years old, which is beyond the recommended service life.  Public safety remains a top priority in the allocation of general funds, however without additional revenues, services and vehicle replacement will be affected.

·         Fire – Town of Paradise Fire Stations are aging and need many serious repairs.  First response fire engines are 6, 12, and 13 years old and reserve engines are over 20 years old.   Without additional monies, there are no funds available for replacement. 

·         Road Maintenance – The Town has about 100 miles of roads to maintain.  Bringing all roads to an acceptable condition would cost about $32 million dollars.  Obviously, the current budget does not come close to allowing the Town to address even the most critical needs.  New tax revenue money coupled with State and Federal Grant funding would allow the Town to implement an improvement plan to bring roads closer to an acceptable standard over time.

·         Animal Control – Measure N passed by voters in 2004 funds about $131,000 a year toward Animal Control and Shelter Services.  To bring staffing levels and Shelter hours back to an adequate level, an additional $40,000 a year is needed.

·         Facilities - Town of Paradise facilities have grown old, deteriorated and in some cases are unsafe.  The great recession of the last few years has impacted the Town’s budget, making it impossible to fund needed repairs and upgrades to aging facilities, while still maintaining critical services for the community. 

 

How can I trust the Town will use the money the way it says it will?

A citizen oversight committee, established by the same local law proposing the sales tax (Ordinance no. 545), will review the spending of tax revenue.  The committee will consist of a 9 member board of residents and business owners of the Town of Paradise.  The purpose of the committee is to provide independent recommendations and assist in monitoring and reporting of spending of tax monies.  The committee will meet at least quarterly as well as at budget preparation time with the Town Manager and Finance Director to ensure that the funds are appropriately allocated.  All quarterly and yearly budget reports from the committee will be published on the Town of Paradise website prior to Council adoption and will be available for public review.

Click here for more information on this committee.  

What would this tax mean to me and my household budget?

Not much!  The average household would pay less than $30-$50 per year during the six year duration of the sales tax.  A sales tax does not overly burden Paradise residents, non Paradise residents who use Town services, such as roads, would also contribute. On a $100 taxable purchase, this would add on only 50 cents for the shopper.  Here is an example of how an average family’s bill would change if Measure C is approved:

 

Total Cost with 0.5% sales tax increase

Total Cost without sales tax increase

Difference

16 gallons of gas

$64.22

$63.96

$0.25

Dog Food and Kitty Litter

$30.24

$30.10

$0.14

Child’s Gift and Magazine 

$33.48

$33.33

$0.15

Tennis Shoes

$43.15

$42.95

$0.20

Grocery Shopping for 5 Days for 3 (Toothpaste, Aluminum Foil, Cleaner) 

$111.04

$110.98

$0.06

Totals

$282.13

$281.32

$0.80

How much additional funding would a ½ cent sales tax generate for the Town?

A ½ cent sales tax would raise about $850,000 per year.  All funds generated by the local sales tax would be locally controlled and would stay in the Town of Paradise to provide essential public services.  By law, the State could not take this funding away.

 

What would the sales tax apply to?  What’s taxed and what isn’t?

A local sales tax would apply to the same goods and services and be subject to the existing State sales tax on tangible personal property.  For example, furniture, cars, giftware, toys, antiques and clothing would be subject to the tax.  Items that are exempt from the sales tax include most groceries and prescription medicine. 

 

How long would a ½ cent sales tax last?

6 years.  After that time, the tax will automatically expire.

 

Nov. 4, 2014 Ballot Language

Shall Ordinance No. 545, a temporary sales tax increase of one-half percent (0.50%) that automatically expires in six years, and that establishes a citizen oversight committee to ensure that the funds are used to preserve public services such as police protection, fire suppression, street maintenance and animal control and other services for the Town of Paradise, be adopted?

 

Reference Documents

pdf Ordinance No. 545 (3.44 MB)

 

pdf Resolution 14-33 (4.31 MB)

 

pdf 2014/15 Budget Presentat (838 KB) pdf io (838 KB) pdf n (838 KB)

 

Historical Budget Information

 

Click here for Butte County Official Election Results

 

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Paradise, CA 95969

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