By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Measure to stop state raids on Nov. 2 ballot
Placeholder Image
A proposition that would prohibit the state from balancing its budget at the expense of local police, firefighters and other services has qualified for the November ballot.

The Local Taxpayer, Public Safety, and Transportation Act of 2010 qualified for the Nov. 2 ballot Tuesday after Secretary of State Debra Bowen’s office confirmed it had met the requirement of 694,354 valid signatures of registered voters. The initiative was signed by more than 1.1 million California voters.

Manteca Mayor Willie Weatherford said he was pleased that the measure that closes loopholes to prevent the state from taking, diverting or borrowing local government, transportation, and public transit funds qualified for the ballot.

“They (the state) say they’re borrowing it (local money) and will pay it back but they never do,” Weatherford said of the state’s continued pirating of local funds since 1992 to help cover deficits in Sacramento. “This time when they took the redevelopment agency money they didn’t even claim to borrow it, they just took it.”

The state has taken close to $26 million from Manteca nine times since 1992. The latest is $6.6 million in RDA funds that the state took in May. They will take another $1.3 million next fiscal year. It is part of a statewide raid of $2.05 billion on RDA funds the state has no intention of paying back. Of the $26 million the state actually has paid a small part of it back over the years.

If passed, the Local Taxpayer, Public Safety, and Transportation Act of 2010 would:

• Prohibit the state from borrowing local government property tax funds which are vital for public safety and other local services.

• Prohibit the state from taking or borrowing the Highway User Tax on gasoline (HUTA), which currently funds city, county and state road, highway, transit and other transportation improvements and services.

• Prevent the state from redirecting or diverting locally levied taxes, including: parcel taxes; sales taxes; utility user taxes; Transit Occupancy Taxes which include taxes on hotel/motel rooms and rental cars; and other locally imposed taxes that are currently passed by local governments and/or local voters and dedicated to cities, counties and special districts.

• Prohibit the state from taking, borrowing or redirecting Public Transportation Account (PTA) revenues dedicated to public transit.

•Add additional constitutional protections to prevent the state from raiding redevelopment funds or shifting redevelopment funds to other state purposes.