Measure asks voters to consider continuing UUT

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On July 18, the Canyon Lake City Council unanimously placed the Public Safety and Local Control Continuation Measure S on the November 6 general election ballot. If renewed, the Measure would continue local funding to maintain essential services including life safety services, emergency response times, keep the Canyon Lake Fire Station open and prevent cuts to firefighters, paramedics and sheriff’s deputies. The current voter-approved funding helped to re-open, and now keeps open, Canyon Lake Fire Station 60.

The Measure asks voters to consider continuing, with no increase in tax rates, the existing voter-approved 3.95 percent utility users tax (UUT). If renewed by voters, revenue from the Measure will continue to require fiscal accountability provisions including independent annual audits that keep city spending transparent and ensure funds are spent effectively and efficiently. By law, all funds must be spent in Canyon Lake and no money can be taken by Sacramento.

Since 2015, when the first UUT funds were received, $3,158,152 has been received and has been expended to pay for a portion of animal control services as well as to reopen Fire Station 60, fund effective 911 emergency response services and maintain sheriff deputy staffing levels.

The existing UUT comprises approximately 21 percent of the city’s general fund budget. Historically, the largest expenditure from the general fund is the provision of police and fire services. If approved, the Measure would continue to generate an estimated $1 million annually. All funds will continue to be deposited into the city’s general fund. If the UUT is not extended, the city’s financial ability to sustain these local services and maintain and repair vital infrastructure will be significantly eroded.

Why is Measure on the ballot in 2018 when the current Measure runs through 2020? Placing the Measure on the 2019 ballot would require a special election costing the taxpayers additional money; waiting to place it before the citizens with only one month before it ends is not prudent. Putting it before the citizens now, in 2018, is efficient and cost-effective.

For more information about the Public Safety and Local Control Continuation Measure, visit the city’s website at cityofcanyonlake.org/measure_s or contact Canyon Lake City at 951-244-2955.

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