Statewide ballot measure could kill Elk Grove's Bobbie's Tax Measure E Golden Goose

During a legislative update at the Wednesday, November 8 Elk Grove City Council meeting, some sobering news was delivered. A California statewide measure appearing on the November 2024 ballot could kill Elk Grove's coveted Measure E sale tax increase, known colloquially as Bobbie's Tax after Elk Grove Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen.  

Approved by Elk Grove voters with a 54 percent majority in 2022, Measure E raised sales taxes on consumer purchases in the city by one percent. Initial revenues are expected to be about $23 million annually and will rise with inflation.

Providing the grim news to Councilmembers Darren Suen, Rod Brewer, and Sergio Robles - Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen and Vice Mayor Kevin Spease skipped the meeting - was delivered by government relations manager Christal Love. 

Love told the city council the California Business Roundtable qualified for a measure for the November 2024 statewide ballot. The Taxpayer Protection and Government Accountability Act would require a two-thirds majority for approval, and it would be retroactive to January 1, 2022.

The California Legislative Analyst's office states, "Whether sought by the local governing body or the electorate, the measure establishes the same approval requirements for increasing local special taxes (currently 66.6 percent). Any local tax approved between January 1, 2022, and the effective date of this measure would be nullified unless it fulfills the requirements of the measure."

As noted, Measure E won with 54 percent of the vote. If approved by California voters, Elk Grove's Measure E would be negated, and if the city again pursued the tax increase, it would need 66 percent for approval.

During city council remarks, Suen noted the threat it could pose to the future of Measure E. Suen added the city would need to engage in outreach to preserve the revenue generated by Bobbie's Tax

"On its surface, it might look good, but I think if people dive deeper, a lot of local governments will suffer," Suen said. 

He told Love, "I would like to see some education, maybe get out in public on that."

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1 comment

D.J. Blutarsky said...

Had to chuckle when Suen said, ""On its surface, it might look good, but I think if people dive deeper, a lot of local governments will suffer," Suen said.

I say, be careful what you ask for Mr. Suen. If people do "dive deeper' into Elk Grove's finances, particularly how Measure E is being spent, this ballot initiative might be closer to reality than our elected bigwigs would like.

After promising improved emergency response times and quality of life benefits, Measure E has only seemed to spur a furious City Hall hiring spree, and only about 1/3 of that added sales tax revenue went to CSD's fire department. Besides, unless those fire trucks sprout wings, how will extra firefighters navigate through the congestion any better than before Measure E?

Then about another 1/4 of the sales tax revenue is being squirreled away for future undeclared economic development purposes--presumably Bobbie's new zoo?

Yes Mr. Suen, I agree--let's dive deeper and let the taxpayers decide!

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