PALM SPRINGS MEASURE J – Frequently Asked Questions
On November 8, 2011 Palm Springs voters approved Measure J, a local revenue measure to maintain local community services and economically revitalize our Downtown.
The economic downturn and recurring Sacramento takeaways of local funds dramatically impacted Palm Springs’ ability to fund critical programs and projects. Over the last decade the State of California has taken millions from Palm Springs in attempts to address the State’s budget problems.
In today’s tough economy, without the additional Measure J revenue, the City of Palm Springs would be unable to fully support our community’s needs. The City of Palm Springs has a backlog of projects which were not able to be funded with existing revenues including:
- Street Repair and Maintenance
- Revitalizing the Downtown including the Desert Fashion Plaza
- Improving our Parks, Trails, Bikeways, and Tahquitz Creek
- Supporting College of the Desert’s West Valley Campus Neighborhood Improvements
- Improving and expanding the Palm Springs Library
What is Measure J and who pays for Measure J?
After extensive public discussion and community input, Measure J was unanimously placed on the November 8, 2011 ballot by the Palm Springs City Council to provide a source of local revenue for essential services and projects. Measure J will add one penny to each dollar spent in Palm Springs by both residents and visitors. This means that for every dollar of each purchase you will pay another penny specifically to be used locally for Palm Springs. Measure J is not a tax on property owners and none of Measure’s J’s proceeds can be taken by Sacramento.
Are all purchases included in Measure J?
No, not all purchases are subject to the sales tax. For example, Measure J does not apply to:
- Food and groceries
- Prescription medications
- Admission charges to theaters, amusement parks, sporting events and golf courses
Can the State Take This Money Away From Us?
No. Measure J is a local measure, voted on by local residents, so the revenues will be under local control and Sacramento cannot raid any of these funds.
What types of Fiscal Accountability are included in Measure J?
Measure J includes fiscal accountability provisions such as annual independent financial audits. Additionally, the City Council adopted an ordinance establishing a Citizens Oversight Commission. The ordinance provides that the Oversight Commission will oversee and monitor all expenditures and audits of Measure J funds and make recommendations to the City Council as a part of the City’s budget process. As a testament to the deep community interest in Measure J, over 100 Palm Springs residents applied for one of the seven (7) spots on the Commission.
How Long Will Measure J Last?
Measure J specifically states that it will last for 25 years.
What Will the Money Be Used For?
Our residents have told us that the following services are top priorities:
- Enhancing Neighborhood Services and Safety
- Revitalizing Downtown
- Reinvesting in Streets and Parks
What Are the Street Improvement Needs in Our Neighborhoods?
For the past several fiscal years there has not been enough revenue to pay for adequate resurfacing and regular maintenance of many streets in our neighborhoods, resulting in a significant degradation of roads in some areas. Currently there is a backlog of streets that need repairs before they can simply be “maintained”. Once brought up to an acceptable level, routine maintenance costs would be approximately $4.9 Million annually.