Our GOVERNMENT

FUNDING OUR FUTURE

Revenue Measure Feasibility

As a full-service city that provides essential services and facilities, the City works in a fiscally responsible manner to sustain the services that residents tell us they value most: rapid 911 emergency response services, safe neighborhoods, quality streets and roads, maintaining and preserving our parks and open spaces, supporting local businesses, and programs for youth and seniors. The City’s General Fund budget provides funding for a wide range of services and infrastructure. The City’s Long-Term Financial Forecast and the draft 10-Year Infrastructure Plan have identified budget deficits and significant funding needs for services and programs and repair and replacement in future years, as community-owned assets age. The City is now considering new revenue options to responsibly address community needs as City leaders also engage with the community to ensure residents’ voices are heard before important decisions are made. Additional information about this initiative and why the City is exploring it now can be found below.

Questions?

Take a look at our detailed FAQs section.

For more information

View a mailer that was sent to all addresses in Pleasanton with registered voters in mid-February.

For more information, contact Heather Tiernan at (925) 931-5044 or by email at PleasantonListens@cityofpleasantonca.gov

View the Agenda Report introducing the topic of a potential revenue measure from the December 5, 2023 City Council meeting and a list of revenue options presented.

View the Agenda Report requesting funding for a community engagement campaign from the December 19, 2023 City Council Meeting.

FAQs

  • PUBLIC SAFETY: Rapid 911 emergency response, maintaining police patrols and fire protection services to keep neighborhoods safe, emergency/disaster preparedness, crime prevention programs, and updating and modernizing police information and dispatch systems.
  • STREETS & ROADS: Repairing potholes, repaving and maintaining roads, improving pedestrian safety with safe sidewalks and crosswalks.
  • COMMUNITY INFRASTRUCTURE: Maintaining and replacing aging infrastructure, including facilities such as police and fire stations, the City’s library, cultural arts center, senior center, and other city buildings.
  • PARKS AND OPEN SPACES: Maintaining City parks, repairing park systems and equipment, and replacing aging paths and trails.
  • ECONOMIC VITALITY: Supporting small and local businesses, and attracting new businesses, jobs, and economic activity.
  • SERVICES FOR YOUTH AND SENIORS: Maintaining after-school programs for children and teens, and senior services and programs, including maintaining library hours and providing access to books and educational technology.
The City makes every effort to use resources wisely. Over time, the City has made changes to its organizational structure, compensation packages, and operating strategies to reduce costs and improve efficiency. Reduced retiree health benefits are being offered to employees, and all City employees now contribute their maximum share towards the employee’s portion of the pension contribution. The City has also been proactive in setting funds aside in a pension reserve and established General Fund reserves to weather economic uncertainties. Like other agencies, the City develops a financial plan when significant expenses beyond the budget arise, making it critical to identify new resources to maintain vital City services and infrastructure that protect the community’s quality of life.
The City’s General Fund supports both City services and infrastructure. As the community has grown over the years, City services and programs have expanded to accommodate the increase in service demand. The City lost more than $11 million in hotel tax revenue during the pandemic and has not fully recovered to the pre-pandemic level, impacting the City’s financial stability. In particular, many City facilities such as fire stations and park systems that support the community’s most valued programs and services have grown old, and deferred maintenance will become more expensive the longer it is delayed. The current annual repair and replacement cost estimate over the next 10 years for the General Fund and Enterprise Funds total close to $900 million, or approximately $89 million annually. Additional funding is vital to maintaining City services.
The City has been evaluating various funding options to generate additional revenues to support City services and infrastructure. No decisions have been made yet: at this time, City leaders are still assessing options that would help raise revenues to close the current funding gap such as placing a possible revenue measure on the November 2024 ballot. One option currently being discussed is a ½ cent sales tax increase, a step that would require Pleasanton voter authorization to go into effect. This particular option would ensure that visitors pay their fair share for use of Pleasanton services while not impacting certain essential purchases like groceries, prescription medication, and medical appointments. This option would help protect Pleasanton’s quality of life enjoyed by residents now and into the future.
Any funds raised by a voter-approved local revenue measure would go directly into the City’s General Fund to help fund essential city services, including:
  • Maintaining rapid 911 emergency response, neighborhood police patrols and fire protection services to keep neighborhoods safe, emergency/disaster preparedness, crime prevention programs, and updating and modernizing police information and dispatch systems.
  • Repairing potholes, repaving and maintaining local roads, and improving pedestrian safety with safe sidewalks and crosswalks.
  • Maintaining and replacing aging infrastructure, including facilities such as police and fire stations, the City’s library, cultural arts center, senior center, and other city buildings.
  • Maintaining City parks, repairing park systems and equipment, and replacing aging paths and trails.
  • Supporting small and local businesses, and attracting new businesses, jobs, and economic activity.
  • Maintaining after-school programs for children and teens, and senior services and programs, including maintaining library hours and providing access to books and educational technology.
If a measure is placed on the ballot and if it is approved by voters, funds raised by the measure would go directly into the City’s General Fund. The City Council would be the responsible decision-making authority to determine how funds will be spent. The needs listed immediately above would provide a good example of the priorities that the public could expect to see funded if a measure were to be placed on the November 2024 ballot and voters approve the measure.
No decisions have been made yet. The City Council continues to evaluate all possible options for increasing revenues. A general sales tax increase measure gives the City Council the flexibility to use the funds raised on the City’s most critical needs rather than mandating that money raised is required to be spent on specific programs, services, or facilities.
While no decisions have been made yet, if the City Council votes to place a half-cent sales tax measure on the ballot and local voters approve it, the cost to an individual would depend on the amount of qualified goods or services he or she purchased. In this case, the new tax would add a new ½ cent for every dollar spent. Some examples: if a family spends $10,000 a year in taxable purchases, there would be an additional $50 in sales tax with the half-cent rate; the additional cost to purchase a $1,200 television would be $6; the purchase of a $100 item would add 50 cents; and a $50 dinner at a local restaurant would add 25 cents more. If approved by voters, the sales tax would be paid by everyone in the community, as well as visitors making qualified purchases in Pleasanton.
A local sales tax would apply to the same goods and services and be subject to the existing state sales tax on tangible personal property. For example: furniture, cars, giftware, toys, antiques, clothing and gasoline would be subject to the tax. Items that are exempt from sales tax include sales of certain food products for human consumption (groceries), sales to the U.S. government, sales of prescription medicine and certain medical devices, and sales of items paid for with food stamps.
A ½ cent sales tax would generate approximately $10 million per year for City services. This revenue generated would be dependent on the economy and the amount of sales tax generated in Pleasanton. ALL funds generated by the local sales tax would be locally controlled and would stay in Pleasanton to provide essential City services, programs, and facility improvements. By law, the State could not take this funding away.
No decisions have been made yet about a Pleasanton sales tax. However, measures like this often include a 10-year duration or “sunset”. Once approved by voters, changes cannot not be made without a new vote of the people.
NONE. By law, every penny generated by a local voter-approved sales tax must stay local. In this case, that would mean all funds generated by a local sales tax in Pleasanton would STAY LOCAL to fund essential City services and facility improvements for Pleasanton. None of these funds can be taken by the State or diverted to other communities.
The City is currently studying and evaluating its options. No decisions have been made yet. In the event that there is support from the community to consider such a measure, the City Council could take action to place a proposal on a future ballot. The next most likely election ballot that is viable is the November 2024 ballot. To qualify for that ballot, the City must file the measure with the Alameda County Registrar of Voters by August 9, 2024.
IF a ballot measure proposal is placed on the ballot and voters approve it, funds generated by the measure would be used to address City service, program, and facility needs deemed most critical by the City Council.
IF voters were given the option to approve a local revenue measure and they chose to reject it, the likely result would be that some City programs and services would be at risk of reduction or elimination. Without additional facilities funding, City facilities will continue to age and deteriorate and, at some point, become unsafe and unusable for the community.
The City is evaluating options for generating additional revenues by exploring community interest in a local measure to ensure continued funding for many important city services, programs and facility improvements. This includes working with stakeholders and interested parties across the community, prioritizing replacement projects and listening to our community in a robust public engagement effort. No decisions have been made about a local revenue measure, and none are expected until at least summer 2024.