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June 7, 2016 — California Primary Election
Ballot and voting information for Alameda County.
This is an archive of a past election.

Utility Users' Tax ExtensionOrdinance

June 7, 2016California Primary Election

City of Hayward
Measure D Ordinance - Majority Approval Required

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Election Results


17,271 votes yes (73.33%)

6,283 votes no (26.67%)

  • 100% of precincts reporting (104/104).

To maintain City of Hayward services including: neighborhood police patrols, fire stations/911, firefighter, paramedic response times; preserving youth/anti-gang programs; emergency/disaster preparedness; city streets, sidewalks and lighting; shall the City of Hayward renew the existing Utility Users Tax at the current 5.5 percent rate on gas, electricity, video, telecommunications services, providing $16 million annually for 20 years from the current end date, with exemptions for low-income lifeline users; and all money used for City of Hayward services?

Information provided by Pros/Cons — League of Women Voters of California

Supporters say

According to a committee called Protect Hayward's Future:

VOTE YES on Measure D to maintain funding for ESSENTIAL City of Hayward services without raising your tax rate.

In 2009, Hayward voters approved a local utility users tax (UUT), Measure A, to prevent devastating cuts to public services in the wake of the Great Recession. Since then, the City of Hayward has worked hard to be fiscally responsible while maintaining essential city services as promised with the original Measure A.

Measure A will expire shortly; and just as in 2009, without this vital funding, the City will have no choice but to make severe service cuts.

Measure D authorizes continued funding to maintain:

  • Adequate 911 emergency response times
  • Firefighters and paramedics, (and fully operational Hayward fire stations)
  • Current levels of police staffing and neighborhood patrols
  • Youth programs that keep kids away from crime, gangs, and drugs
  • Disaster preparedness programs
  • Economic development services that stimulate the local economy

Measure D will NOT RAISE your tax rate. It simply extends WITHOUT INCREASING the current 5.5% rate originally approved by voters. By law, the State cannot take this funding away.

Measure D lasts 20 years only and REQUIRES annual audits to ensure funds are spent as promised. This funding cannot be extended without a new vote by our community.

All residents and businesses will pay their fair share. Individuals qualifying for lowincome lifeline service will be eligible for an exemption.

Please join local firefighters, police officers, neighborhood leaders, seniors, parents, civic and business leaders, and residents from every neighborhood in Hayward who are uniting behind Measure D to support our community.

Keep our city moving forward without raising your tax rate.

Please VOTE YES on Measure D.[2]


Opponents say

According to Lawrence M. Johmann, a Hayward resident, property owner, and businessman, and The Hey Hayward blog featured the official argument against the utility tax:

In 2009, the City declared a fiscal emergency to justify a Utility Users Tax (UUT). The purpose of this temporary, 10-year tax was to weather the recession.

Now, with a robust recovery and an increased sales tax (the highest in California), the UUT should no longer be necessary. To argue otherwise is an admission that the City is budgetarily inept, and we’re consequently stuck in a perpetual state of emergency.

Instead of threatening to cut emergency services, the City ought to be reining in the highest compensation levels of its emergency service personnel. Visit and count the number of Hayward firefighters receiving annual compensation amounts of over $300,000. 

Some utilities are taxed; some aren’t. Electricity is taxed; water isn’t. Gas is taxed; sewer isn’t. Xfinity TV is taxed; Dish TV isn’t. Landline phone service is taxed; VoIP isn’t. Cell phone service billed to a Hayward address is taxed; service invoiced elsewhere (such as a prepaid/no-contact account or a friends and family/employer plan) isn’t.

There’s no logical correlation between this confusingly applied tax and an individual’s burden on city services. Individual neighbors requiring the same level of service can be taxed significantly different amounts based on the manner of their consumption.

An individual having Dish TV, a VoIP home phone, a no-contract mobile phone, and a solar array that can generate all needed power will pay nothing toward city services via this tax. While someone who has Xfinity TV, a traditional landline phone, a cell phone billed to their Hayward address, and all PG&E provided power may be paying hundreds annually.

Impartial analysis / Proposal

The Hayward City Council has placed a measure on the June 7, 2016 ballot, asking voters to approve an extension of the Utility Users Tax Ordinance, set to expire in June, 2019, If passed by a simple majority of the voters voting on the measure, the Ordinance would continue to impose a five-and-one-half percent (5.5%) to on telecommunication services (including land line telephone and cell phone services), video services, electricity and gas consumption. Water consumption and sewer services would not be taxed under the Ordinance. This tax was first approved by voters in May, 2009, for a ten-year period, If approved by a simple majority of voters on June 7, 2016, the Ordinance would expire June 30, 2039, unless further extended by the voters. 

In general, utility companies would collect the tax from consumers as part of their regular utility bills and would remit the tax to the City. Qualifying low-income residents and Lifeline program participants would be exempt from the tax, upon application and approval by the Tax Administrator. The definition of each utility service and a description of how the tax is calculated are more particularly described in the Ordinance. 

The utility users tax is a general tax intended to alleviate the City's ongoing general operating budget deficit. Revenue generated by the tax would be deposited in the City's General Fund and used to support such essential public services, as police, fire and paramedic services; the operation of youth/anti-gang, disaster preparedness and economic development programs; street repairs and mainteronce; graffiti removal; code enforcement and library programs, and other general government purposes. The Ordinance includes a requirement for an annual financial audit of tax collection and expenditures to be performed by a qualified, independent third party. The results of the annual audits would be available to the public.

A "Yes" vote on this measure means the voter is in favor of authorizing the City to collect a utility users tax for the additional twenty-year period. A "No" vote on this measure means the voter is riot in favor of the City collecting a utility users tax for an additional twenty-yew' period. 

— Alameda County Elections Office

YES vote means

A yes vote is a vote in favor of authorizing the city to renew for 20 years its utility users tax of 5.5% on gas, electricity, television and telephone sources. 

NO vote means

A no vote is a vote against renewing the city's utility tax, allowing the tax to expire in June 2019.

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