Palm Springs Measure J - Frequently Asked Questions
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 J's proceeds can be taken by Sacramento.
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.
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
Admission charges to theaters, amusement parks, sporting events, and golf courses
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 Citizen 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 a spot on the Commission.
How long will Measure J last?
Measure J specifically states that it will last for 25 years (until March 31, 2037).
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
- Citywide infrastructure and Capital Improvement Projects
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 $5 million annually.