Getting detailed about the County's mission in order to make it a reality.
The County of Imperial indicates that their mission “is to provide extensive, high-quality public services to increase the quality of life for Imperial County residents. The County’s strategic goals serve as guiding principles to build abundant opportunities for our communities, the county’s budget and much more to help our residents, visitors, and partners navigate through and utilize County programs and resources.”
This is a lofty mission. As an advocate for many of the Imperial Valley’s residents, especially labor, agricultural and business, the key areas for our focus are as follows:
Public Works— especially the county roads and bridges. Our quandary was SB1 increased the gasoline tax, already higher than most other states, but provided funded for our local roads and bridges. Now that Prop 69 failed repeal the gas tax, we must make sure the funding here is used efficiently. Also that the state official do not redirect these funds to other uses is now a concern.
Planning and Development— to insure a fair and equitable treatment of all businesses
Elections— while a small department, its transparency and precision is critical to the process that enable each of us to have a voice in our leadership.
Air Pollution Control District— this is a quality of life issue, but its enforcement of rules established by the State of California and the U. S. EPA, must be fair and equitable to all businesses.
CUPA (Certified Unified Program Agencies)— Imperial County, as well as one other smaller county in California do not have jurisdiction of this enforcement agency of the California Department of Toxic Substance Control. We strongly believe this control belongs to the County and will continue to push for it. As of February 2019, we still awaiting the decision by the State of California.
Environment Health Service— This department has oversight for the Illegal Dumping Task Force- for too long, we have allowed illegal dumping to continue. An effective and ongoing program must be established and maintained.
Budgetary Concern— Not limited to one department but a growing concern. The continued growth of the County with seemingly little regard as to the source of income should be of concern of all tax payers.
PROP 69 Ensure the Money is Spend as It Intended.
May 17, 2018
It is election season in Imperial County. This June 5, 2018 those of you who choose to exercise your rights as a United States citizen will have the option to vote in two county-wide elections, two contested judges’ race, and two of the three contested seats for the Imperial Irrigation District. Two other races, one for IID and one for County Supervisor are likely to be narrowed to two candidates with a final voter decision in November 2018. We encourage you to vote based on the qualification, experience and ethics of each of the candidates.
One of the items on the ballot which has received little coverage by the candidates or the media is Proposition 69. When the California Legislature enacted the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 which was supported by Governor Jerry Brown, COLAB remained silent. This bill, commonly call the gas tax increased the State’s revenues by an estimated $5.2 billion a year. We did oppose another tax, especially when the then current gas tax revenues had been diverted to the General Fund in order to balance the growing expense budget. It is unfortunate that AB 496 which would require the existing law and funding for the local state highway and local street road system was not considered. We, however, recognized the conditions of our local road and the lack of funding to maintain, much less improve the County’s approximately 2555 miles of road, of which 1349 miles are paved. The number of bridges is 138 which are also failing.
Our local roads need this revenue source. In November, we will have the opportunity to vote on an appeal to the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, numbered SB1, and known as the gas tax. In the meantime, we encourage each of you to support Proposition 69.
Proposition 69 would require that revenue from the diesel sales tax and Transportation Improvement Fee (TIF) be dedicated for transportation-related purposes. As of 2018, the state constitution prohibited the legislature from using gasoline excise tax revenue or diesel excise tax revenue for general non-transportation purposes. The amendment would require the diesel sales tax revenue to be deposited into the Public Transportation Account, which was designed to distribute funds for mass transportation and rail systems. Proposition 69 would require the TIF revenue be spent on public streets and highways and public transportation systems. Although SB 1 requires revenue from the zero-emission vehicles fee to be placed in the Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation Account, Proposition 69 does not contain a provision creating a constitutional mandate for zero-emission vehicles fee revenue.
Proposition 69 would make revenue from SB 1's tax increases and fee schedules exempt from the state appropriates limit also known as the Gann Limit. In other words, the revenue would not count toward the limit. The Gann Limit prohibits the state government and local governments from spending revenue in excess of per-person government spending in fiscal year 1978-1979, with an adjustment allowed for changes in the cost-of-living and population. Amendments were made to the Gann Limit in 1988 and 1990, modifying the formula and requiring half of the excess revenue to be distributed to public education and the other half to taxpayer rebates. Rejecting the constitutional amendment would make SB 1's revenue subject to the Gann Limit. As of 2018, the Gann Limit had been exceeded just once in 1987.
As of May 12, 2018, there were two committees registered to support Proposition 69. The committees in support of the measure had raised a combined $1.155 million. The top contributors included the League of California Cities ($290,000), California Alliance for Jobs - Rebuild California Committee ($250,000), the County Supervisors Association California ($250,000), and Members' Voice of the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California ($250,000). There were no committees registered to oppose the ballot proposition.
Simply stated, your vote choice on Proposition 69 means
"yes" vote supports this amendment to:
A "no" vote opposes this amendment to:
We need to ensure that the money we pay at the pumps is used to maintain and improve our road and bridge infrastructure. Then in November, each of us can make a decision as to amount of taxes we wish to pay.