July 7 Council Item By Mayor Garcia + 3 Councilmembers Proposes Nov. 2020 Ballot Measure To Increase LB's Oil Barrel Production Tax (Not Paid By Most Residents Unless They Own An Oil Well)
Also proposes advisory ballot measure on whether to use future cannabis revenue for equity purposes
Also proposes advisory ballot measure on whether to use future cannabis revenue for equity purposes .
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|(July 2, 2020, 7:25 p.m.) -- Mayor Robert Garcia, joined by Councilmembers Rex Richardson, Mary Zendejas, Jeannine Pearce and Al Austin, have added an item to the
The proposed ballot measure would invite LB voters to increase the per barrel tax rate currently applied by LB to oil producers under Measure H [advanced in 2007 under then-Mayor Foster that has since let oil producers pay the City of LB a lower tax rate than they pay the City of Signal Hill.)
The agendizers frame their proposal in terms of addressing global warming emissions and the shortage of open space in low income areas near freeways and industrial facilities. They dohn't focus on budget issues (stemming form Council spending exceeding revenue) previously acknowledged by city management as issues for FY21 and beyond prior to COVID-19 (and worse now.) The Mayor/Council agendizers also don't mention now-pending legal challenges to City Hall's March 2020 Measure A sales tax extension and the March 2018 Measure M utility revenue transfer (ruled unconstitutional, City Hall appeal pending.)
The July 7 agenda item also asks the City Manager and City Attorney to explore the feasibility of preparing "a ballot advisory question" (presumably non-binding) on whether to reinvest future cannabis revenue into economic equity, health equity, and youth investments, and to further strengthen our cannabis equity program to expand equitable ownership opportunities."
The agendizers seek Council approval to:
[Scroll down for further.]
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Request the City Manager to engage the California State Lands Commission [Lt Governor + State Controller + Governr's Dir. of Finance] and other stakeholders regarding potential modifications to the Oil Barrel Production tax;
In their agerndizing memo, the co-agendizers write:
The agenda item attaches a "to-from-for" memo from city management that tells the Mayor/Council:
Should the City Council direct the City Manager to place a measure on the November 3, 2020 ballot, over the next two weeks, staff would need to conduct to determine an appropriate level of tax increase and work with the City Attorney to create ballot language. This analysis would be brought back to the City Council for consideration and further direction. According to the City Clerk, the cost estimate for a one issue ballot measure is $1.1 million, with each additional ballot measure costing approximately $300,000. Eligible measures on the November ballot could include tax measures or changes to voter-approved ordinances. Changes to the City Charter cannot legally be added to the ballot at this time as the State-required deadlines for considering a Charter change required a first hearing by May 19, 2020. The timeline for qualifying a City Council ballot initiative is summarized below.
LB's Reform Coaltion is currently suing the LA County Registrar/County Clerk to enable an affordable recount of a 16-vote passage margin claimed by LA County for the March 2020 City Hall-sought extension of the 2016 "temporary" Measure A (General Fund) sales tax increase.
In a separate action by LB taxpayers Diana Lejins and Angela Kimball, a Superior Court has ruled uncostitutional City Hall's June 2018 Measure M utility revenue transfer. (City Hall is appealing the ruling.) Measure M included a mechanism enabling LB's Mayor-chosen Water Commission to transfer a percentage of LB Water Dept. revenue to City Hall for General Fund spending and raise rates on LB Water Dept. users to backfill the transferred amount. (LB's Water Commission recently approved such an action for FY 21.)
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