What is Measure C?
Declaring its second fiscal emergency in the last two years, and in response to a city budget that has been out of balance in eight of the last 11 years, on Aug. 7, 2017, the Carson City Council called a special election and is asking voters to approve adding a quarter percent gross receipts tax on all Carson-based businesses engaged in oil refining and production. Measure C will appear on a Nov. 7, 2017 ballot.
How much money could be raised by Measure C?
The Carson City Council claims that Measure C could raise up to $24 million annually; however, its financial projections are guess work. The City’s Aug. 7th staff report says, “…it’s difficult to estimate the tax revenues which will be collected” from a gross receipts tax. In the City’s rush to put the measure on the ballot, it didn’t even use real data for its revenue projections. It took figures and numbers from a report prepared for the state of Washington based on a “hypothetical refinery.”
Why should I vote No on
Measure C is the wrong solution for Carson. This tax measure, if approved, could increase gas taxes on Carson residents above-and-beyond those that will already occur on Nov. 1, 2017. Additionally, because Measure C could increase the cost of doing business and harm hard-working Carson families and small business owners, as businesses flee Carson for less expensive cities.
The City Council is promising that funding will be used for many community priorities. Is this accurate?
Measure C gives the City Council a blank check. Because the City Council chose to make Measure C a general tax, which requires a 50% plus one vote threshold to pass, any revenue generated from the ballot measure must go into the City’s general fund to be used 100% at the City Council’s discretion. None of the money can be obligated for any specific need or priority. So, the City Council may say how the revenue could be spent, but nothing in Measure C requires them to do so.
Didn’t the City Council just receive a huge amount of money from a Carson-based oil company?
In July 2017, Tesoro Corp., recently renamed as Andeavor, negotiated a $54 million agreement with the City of Carson to reduce pollution impacts from its planned merger of two South Bay plants into a single West Coast oil refinery. Approximately one month after this announcement, the Carson City Council voted to put Measure C on the Nov. 7, 2017 ballot.
How much will a special election cost the City of Carson?
Estimates vary. In the Aug. 7, 2017 report prepared by city staff, it estimates the costs of a special election would be $270,000. However, in a recent Daily News article, election costs were estimated at $400,000. Suffice it to say, a special election will be expensive.
The City’s campaign material says that the tax only targets the businesses engaged in oil refining and petroleum distribution.
As the California Taxpayers Association, in voicing its opposition to Measure C, indicates: a gross receipts tax is an indirect tax. It is ultimately passed onto the end user consumer – in this case hard-working Carson residents and business owners.
Didn’t politicians increase taxes this year?
Yes! On Nov. 1, six days prior to the special election, fuel taxes will increase by 12-cents a gallon on gasoline and 20-cents a gallon on diesel statewide. If Measure C passes, residents and businesses in Carson could pay more – above and beyond the statewide tax increase passed by public officials earlier this year.
Doesn’t Carson already have anti-business reputation?
The Carson City Council has a history of unfairly targeting businesses operating in the City, particularly those that provide significant economic benefit, create jobs and generate tax revenue. Measure C targets Carson-based oil refineries and all the small Carson-based businesses doing business with them. Earlier this year, it was warehouse, logistics and supply chain businesses. Before that, convenience stores. Who is next?
Doesn’t the oil industry already pay taxes?
The industry generates almost $4 billion annually in taxes for L.A. County and creates jobs for Carson residents – good-paying, middle-class, largely union jobs that provide upward mobility for families in the community. City-based small businesses and their employees also benefit from oil companies’ presence in Carson. These benefits could be negatively impacted by Measure C.
Who is behind the No on Measure C campaign?
The official campaign committee is called Carson United Against Irresponsible Taxes. The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) is coordinating the campaign effort on behalf of its members who will be impacted by Carson’s proposed gross receipts tax. We are working with other groups (the California Taxpayers Association and United Steelworkers, Local 675 and others. For a complete list of those opposing Measure C, click here.
Who are the funders of Carson United Against Irresponsible Taxes?
To date, Carson United Against Irresponsible Taxes has not received any contributions.