SUMMARY OF CORTE MADERA'S HALF-CENT SALES TAX SUMMARY:
Measure B was first initiated by the Town Council in 2013 and was approved by 68% of Town residents in 2014. The 6-year measure is set to expire in April 2020, unless it is renewed by voters.
The purpose of the sales tax was to relieve poor Town financial conditions, build depleted reserves and provide a funding source for
public safety and capital improvements (road maintenance, transportation safety, and infrastructure related to flood control, levees,
pumping stations, etc.)
Sales tax revenue from the half-cent measure averages $2.5 million per year, or $15 million for the life of Measure B (2014-2020).
Unique to the Town, and of great fiscal incentive for local voters, approximately 90% of the revenues generated from the local sales tax are paid for by visitors who come to Corte Madera to shop at local malls and auto dealerships. So for every $1 spent by Town residents, $9 is leveraged by regional shoppers for the benefit of local property owners, business owners and visitors who enjoy the Town’s roadways, open spaces and amenities.
As a general tax approved at a general election, the funds can be used for any General Fund purpose of Town operation. However, with the help of the Citizens’ Oversight Committee, the Town committed to dedicate these funds primarily to Capital Improvements, Infrastructure Enhancements and Reserves.
ARGUMENTS FOR MEASURE B
ARGUMENTS AGAINST MEASURE B
Approximately 5-10% of total sales tax revenues are actually paid
by Town residents due to the nature of our two regional shopping
malls, car dealerships, etc.
Conversely, regional tax payers spend millions of dollars within
Town jurisdiction, creating 90% of the revenue to benefit residents
and business owners
Taxation is unpleasant and allowing Measure B to expire would be welcomed by some residents.
This is not a new tax, it continues the existing 8.75% local sales
tax rate. Reverting back to an 8.25% rate results in nominal
changes to Corte Maderans’ annual costs but may have
significant impacts to the Town’s ability to maintain infrastructure,
provide emergency services and plan for fiscal emergencies.
The Town needs to “live within its means” and make due with existing funding sources.
Local residents and business owners will benefit from investment
in roadway improvements, traffic congestion relief, bike/pedestrian safety, Police/Fire protection and flood control projects in the coming decades.
Measure B served its purpose and has built up Town reserves and delivered capital improvements.
LOCAL SALES TAX MEASURES HAVE BECOME A SIGNIFICANTLY IMPORTANT TOOL FOR LOCAL CONTROL:
In the past, Corte Madera has relied upon funding sources such as the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, property taxes, sales taxes and various state and federal sources. In nearly every case, these funding sources have either dwindled or have become less reliable.
Table 1 above reflects the generated revenue Corte Madera has acquired from Measure B per fiscal year. As previously mentioned, sales tax revenue from the half-cent measure averages $2.5 million per year, or $15 million for the life of Measure B (2014-2020).
The Town’s current Capital Improvement Projects total more than $15 million over the next five years, more than $20 million in the following five years, and between $30-$50 million by 2030. Without Measure B funding, the Town will not have sufficient resources for Capital Improvement Projects by 2023, and by 2024, would deplete its entire General Fund reserve to complete needed projects. After 2025, the Town may be unable to fund any capital projects with local funds.
Interested in watching footage of Corte Madera during the 1982 flood? Click here to view a quick clip.