Dangerous bacteria, pesticides, toxic chemicals, oil and grease, trash and other pollutants are deposited on our roadways and flow into Ballona Creek, Marina del Rey, and the ocean through our storm drains, by rain, and other runoff water. The State and Regional Water Quality Control Boards have implemented very strict pollution reduction regulations for storm water runoff. These regulations require Culver city to develop and implement programs to reduce and prevent water pollution.
Measure CW was placed on the ballot by the City Council of the City of Culver City to create a dedicated source of funding to pay for water quality programs that will prevent pollution from reaching our waterways, beaches and the Ballona Creek Estuary. Measure CW will require approval by 2/3 of those voting on the measure.
If Measure CW passes, it will cost $99 per year for each single family residential parcel, regardless of size or value. It will cost $69 per year for each multi-family residential dwelling unit. And it will cost $1,096 per year, per acre of land or portion thereof for non-residential use.
Tax-exempt parcels would not be charged.
The City is required to comply with State and Regional clean water regulations. Without Measure CW funds, cuts to other City services may be necessary to provide funds for these mandatory programs.
A YES vote on Measure CW begins an annual parcel tax on property owners in Culver City beginning in the fall of 2017. This is expected to raise $2 million per year. Measure CW funds will be placed in a special Clean Water, Clean Beaches Fund, and funds must be used exclusively for reducing and preventing water pollution and managing storm water and urban runoff. The Financial Advisory Committee will oversee how the funds are spent.
A NO vote on Measure CW keeps property taxes the same. Culver City could become subject to fines if it cannot meet State and Regional clean water regulations. Money would come from the general fund, which pays for all current city services.
Measure CW requires a 2/3 voter approval in order to pass.
There is much more detailed information on the Culver City website:
Measure CW is a thinly-veiled property tax increase. Enough is enough. Do not be stampeded by fear.
• NO WRITING SUPPORTS THE AMOUNT ALLEGEDLY NEEDED.
Exactly how will our monies be used? Where are the documents by which Culver City projected the amount of funds allegedly needed? None has been provided. This is an obvious red flag. Show us the numbers. Tell us the underlying assumptions. Trust, but verify.
• THE WORLD WILL NOT END IF MEASURE CW IS REJECTED.
Please don’t succumb to specious arguments geared to generate fear. $2 million per year would not send Culver City into financial abyss. Near-apocalyptic warnings concerning cuts in services only mask fiscal irresponsibility and waste. For instance, why not cut those numerous $200,000-$300,000 employee-benefit packages?
• MEASURE CW LACKS EFFECTIVE ENFORCEMENT.
We are not protected if the City Council uses the money for other purposes. The Ordinance does not require an “independent” CPA or a “certified” audit, nor does it require that Culver City publicly inform us of the results of any “annual audit.”
• THE CITY COUNCIL CAN UNILATERALLY CHANGE THE ORDINANCE.
“The City Council is hereby authorized to adopt additional provisions consistent with the intent of this Ordinance and to amend the provisions of this Ordinance without voter approval….” However, “consistent with the intent of this Ordinance” means whatever three City Council Members say it means. CW’s passage would forever open our wallets and pocket books to the politicos residing in City Hall.
• THIS PROPERTY TAX INCREASE IS FOREVER.
There is no sunset clause. The new tax would “generat[e] approximately $2,000,000 annually until ended by voters.” But there is no readily available means for voters to get the issue back on a ballot. That means, whether or not the money is needed, we’ll pay.
Measure CW is really a bad idea.
In 2013 the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors proposed a similar measure that would impose a controversial parcel fee on county property to clean up storm water pollution. The measure would have assessed a $54/year on most single-family homes on all 2.2 million parcels within the flood district. School officials, senior citizens and non-profit agency leaders argued the fee would strain their already tight budgets. The Board of Supervisors listened to these objections and backed away from the proposed measure.
Los Angeles’s proposal had a sunset clause. Our Measure CW does NOT have a sunset clause. For that reason alone, it should be rejected. This $99/year property tax increase will continue forever. When I asked Mr. Herbertson (City Engineer) how they came up with the $99/year amount, he said that it was an amount that they thought would be acceptable to voters. In other words, it was an arbitrary amount. He also said that the $2 million/year could be used to leverage loans and obtain grants. This would encourage more debt. When asked for specific financial details of the project to be funded, none was provided. The devil is the details. Also, Culver City already has trash-catch screens to prevent trash from entering storm drains systems and does not have any industrial runoff since there is no industry in Culver City.
Passion trumps reason when deciding how to vote on propositions. Sure, everyone cares about clean water and doing our share to make our environment safe. The City Council is relying on voters to forget their reasoning powers and succumb to their passions. It works every time. Our reasoning powers tell us that Culver City will have to do what needs to be done with the funds that are available. Also don’t be suckered into believing that the city will have to cut funding in other departments such as the Police Department or Fire Department if CW does not pass. They have been using this ploy for as long as I can remember. Enough is enough. Just say NO.