On the Record: What is Measure R?
Measure R is on the November 6, 2018 election ballot. Measure R is a one-cent sales tax that will generate approximately $4.5 million a year and will allow Norco to invest in infrastructure and vital services. Measure R will allow Norco to preserve its quality of life, and restore deteriorating streets, trails, parks, facilities and equestrian amenities. Measure R will prevent additional cuts to Norco’s public safety services so we can maintain safe levels of sheriff and fire protection without risking emergency response times.
If Measure R is approved, the sales tax rate in Norco will change by 1%, from 7.75% to 8.75%. Currently, Norco receives 1% of the sticker price on all taxable items, while the remaining 6.75% is collected by the State and the County. With Measure R, Norco will receive 2% of the sticker price on all taxable items to support the projects, programs and services that Norco residents agree are important for Horsetown USA. Measure R is a locally-controlled revenue measure and the State cannot take any portion of the revenue away from Norco.
Measure R has built-in safeguards and requires firm citizens oversight, as well as third-party independent audits to ensure that the revenue is allocated to the projects, programs and services that Norco residents agree are important for Horsetown USA. A Citizens’ Oversight Committee made up of Norco residents will oversee spending to ensure that the community’s priorities are satisfied. As many residents have noted, Norco’s greatest needs are investments in streets, trails, parks, facilities and equestrian amenities, as well as public safety services, including law enforcement, traffic enforcement, fire protection and emergency medical services.
Measure R will not apply to grocery and produce purchases, prescription medication, home payments, insurance, and most services, or other items that you don’t currently pay sales tax on. Measure R will generate the most money with the least impact on Norco residents, as visitors who shop, dine and stay in Norco will contribute more than 50% of the revenue while the funds will stay right here in Norco to benefit the residents.
If Measure R does not pass, Norco’s unique lifestyle will be in jeopardy. Without Measure R, Norco’s streets, trails, parks and facilities will continue to deteriorate, the community will lose more programs and services, and there will be further reductions in public safety. Ultimately, residents could experience a decline in their quality of life, as well as their property values. The City has NO dedicated monies for the future upkeep of streets, trails, parks, facilities, equestrian amenities or other infrastructure needs. Future revenue and expenditure projections show that additional actions are necessary to address our budget challenges on a long-term basis, as the current rainy-day general fund reserves will be totally depleted in three years. This lack of funding will lead to gradual abandonment of City infrastructure, including streets, trails, parks, facilities, and equestrian amenities. In addition, there will be a massive reduction in public safety services, including the potential closure of a fire station and the loss of additional Sheriff’s deputies. The quality of neighborhoods will degrade, resulting in an inability to retain and/or attract new businesses, a decline in quality of life, and lower property values.