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The City Council is considering placing athree-quarter cent local sales tax increase (also known as a “transactions anduse tax”) measure on the November 3, 2020 ballot for consideration by thevoters. The measure, which requires a majority vote of the Diamond Bar voters,would provide a reliable, ongoing source of local revenue to fund essentialcity services like public safety, parks and recreation facilities and programs,and street maintenance.
The City is experiencing concerning revenue trends as the cost of doing business continues to rise. There are a number of contributing factors, including:
A three-quarter cent sales tax increase isestimated to generate approximately $3.8 million annually.
The sales tax revenues could be used to address any community priority, including but not limited to:
No. Absent a Statewide legislative change, allrevenues generated by the sales tax measure remain under the control of theCity and used only for local needs and priorities.
Yes. As they have done recently with Measure M (transportation) and Measure H (homelessness), the County or other regional agency could place a sales tax measure on the ballot to increase the sales tax in the City. That money would go to the County or other regional agency and potentially none of it spent to directly benefit Diamond Bar. A County sales tax measure could be imposed in Diamond Bar even if a majority of Diamond Bar voters voted against it.
Generally, state law caps sales tax rates at 10.25 percent in the City. The current City rate is 9.5 percent. If Diamond Bar voters were to enact the local 0.75 percent sales tax increase, the local rate would be capped and no further local sales tax increases could be applied to Diamond Bar.
Yes. All funds generated from the measure would be subject to the City’s annual independent audit to verify proper expenditure. Regular reports evidencing the expenditures would be publicly available.
Yes. Voters in many Southern California cities voted in favor of enacting local sales tax increases in recent years, including, but not limited to:
The City has historically spent within its means, approving balanced operating budgets and using banked reserves to complete capital projects like the Diamond Bar Center, City Hall & Library, and various maintenance projects throughout town. The City’s decision to operate with a contract services model keeps staffing levels modest (less than one city employee per 1,000 residents) and associated pension costs down. The City has also taken proactive steps to reduce pension liability through additional annual payments and contributions to a Section 115 Trust to reduce Other Post Employment Benefits (OPEB) liability.