Measure E for Elk Grove - Did You Also Know? Segments 5 & 6

By Lynn Wheat | Guest Contributor |

Ed. note. This is the conclusion of a three-part series that questions the need for Elk Grove's Measure E, which, if approved by Elk Grove voters, will increase sales taxes by one percent in the city. 

Segment 5

Did you also know?

One of our largest and oldest parks, Elk Grove Regional Park is owned by Sacramento County and maintained by Cosumnes Community Service District.

The Cosumnes Community Service District owns and operates the majority of the parks in Elk Grove.  In the early days when Elk Grove became a city, we, the taxpayers, paid for the lawsuit between the City of Elk Grove and the Cosumnes Community Service over who owns and operates parks.  

It was a turf war battle. 

The result; the city of Elk Grove owns some park property, the CSD owns the majority of park property and operates the parks.

On the property tax bill is the special tax to pay for park maintenance.  The local taxes are paid by the neighborhoods surrounding the parks.  Several neighborhood communities voted to increase their special tax on their bills, while several other communities voted no.  There exists an opportunity for neighborhoods to vote for a local increase if so desired.  

The city nor CCSD has stated how the increase in sales tax will be allocated.   Please remember in the description on the ballot, “general purposes.” Meaning if this sales tax increase is passed it does not mean your park could be improved or better maintained.

Segment 6 A

Did you also know?

How has our city used our taxpayer monies to develop

employment centers? Create jobs? Improve the economy in our city?

Our city has funded “economic incentives” to bring jobs here. The money is from our city’s General fund (the tax dollars we pay through our property taxes, fees, and sales tax).  

 For example, California Correctional Healthcare Services and Pappas Development received 3.3 million dollars.  If this was not enough, our mayor and city council members gave the Correctional Healthcare Services another $81,000 to bring 64 more jobs. 

One council member suggested this would be a boast to our local economy as the employees would be purchasing new cars at our dealerships. 

Tens of Thousands of dollars have been given away to startup businesses with no quantifiable results.

Our mayor and city council members voted to establish an Economic Development Department.  This department has expanded, as has the budget for the department.

The city hired the first Economic Development director in 2011, and since then, the budget has ballooned, and the staff has increased. To date, we pay for an Economic Development Director, an Economic Program manager, and two specialists.

Under the Economic Development Director report was a list that included key businesses such as Dignity Health, UC Davis Health, Hampton Inn, Hilton Garden, the Car dealerships, and Sky River Casino. The population growth of Elk Grove brought these businesses, not the activities of the Economic Development Department.

A City representative once commented the Casino would be the anchor for a vibrant and dense urban setting.  Is this to be considered the new employment center of our city?

An example of the top Sale tax producers: Gas stations, Bel Air, Walmart, and Costco.

Did you also know to bring Costco to our city, the Economic Development department gave Costco and Pappas development a deal:  we are giving ½ our sales tax back to them for the next twenty years, which is a multimillion-dollar kickback.  

 Segment 6 B

Did you also know what was said by a current city council member several years ago?  

The city of Elk Grove will be more of the same: Rooftops and Retail.

This is beginning to unfold as the first project into the last 1200 undeveloped acres of Elk Grove has been rezoned from “employment centers” to housing.  

This is unfolding as City officials have been working to bring the ACE commuter train to Elk Grove. A faster, safer commute for our residents who commute to the bay for work.

It continues to unfold as our mayor and city council adopted a master plan for continued growth with the acceptance of congested roadways, increased traffic, and slower emergency response times. Now, the mayor and city council members are asking for more money as if this will really solve the problems they knowingly approved.

Cautiously consider this ballot measure. Think “general purposes.” 

This ballot measure is not specific to addressing the safety and quality of life issues. Our mayor and city council are just asking you to pay more and trust them to know how to spend your money.  

Do the Mayor and city council members deserve your trust? Have the Mayor and city council members earned your trust? 

Please contemplate those questions as you cast your vote on this permanent tax increase. 

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