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Measure Y:  Artesia Banks on Passage of 4.9% Utility Tax Hike in November

By Brian Hews

Voters in Artesia in November will decide the fate of Measure Y that if approved would create a 4.9% Utility User Tax for residents and busine

Official seal of City of Artesia

Official seal of City of Artesia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

ss owners.

Supporters of the proposed tax hike appear to be unopposed in the campaign that will take place on Tuesday, November 4th in conjunction with the California General Election.

Official proponents of Measure Y include current Artesia Mayor Tony Lima, Councilman Ali Sajjad Taj, Public Safety Commissioner Betty Lou Ormonde, Parks and Recreation Commissioner Rene J. Trevino, and Artesia Chamber Director Dinesh Gandhi.

Voters will be asked to vote yes, or no to the following ballot statement:

“Measure Y: Shall the Artesia Public Safety, Parks and General City Services Ordinance be adopted to enact a general purpose utility user tax at a rate of 4.9 percent for charges made for certain utility services, to provide funding for general fund purpose, without limitations 911 response, crime/gas prevention, and neighborhood police patrols; community center improvements for teen-after-school recreation and senior programs; neighborhood streets, alleys, potholes sidewalks and roads; and other general City services.”

Lima, Sajjad Taj, and the other proponents are now touting the measure and are urging its passage.

“We’ve prided ourselves on operating leanly and efficiently.  Over the past few years, the City has cut 30% of its workforce and 40% of its budget,” the two city officials write in their ballot statement.

If approved, future funds collected from the tax would be subject to an annual audit by a five-member “Independent Citizens Oversight Committee.”

What is unclear, however, is who the oversight committee members would be and how they would be selected, and by whom.

Lima, Taj, and the other proponents also claim that any resident who all are “low income” customers of the Gas Company/Southern California Edison Company would be “exempt” from the tax if voters approve it.

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