5 Reasons to
VOTE YES on R
Keeping our tax dollars local to invest in the quality of life our community deserves
Provide funding for street maintenance and roadway improvements, including pedestrian and bicycle safety enhancements
Create safe places for kids to play and learn by expanding after school and youth development programs
Repair, maintain and improve aging parks, playgrounds and fields, trails and sloughs safe and clean for all to enjoy while preserving natural habitats
Increase services and access to library programs, expand Bibliovan into neighborhoods and senior communities
Understanding the Measure
Measure R will provide new funding to expand and to create new youth programs. To help maintain after-school, prevention, recreation programs and library services that keep youth off the streets, engaged and with opportunities.
Measure R will provide additional funding to fix aging and deteriorating streets and sidewalks, making them safer for all. To help provide funding to fix potholes and maintain our streets in safe and good condition.
Measure R will provide funding for more and better parks. To increase access to quality parks that are essential to personal and community wellbeing and mental health. Local seniors, families and kids deserve the same clean open space and recreational opportunities as those in other nearby cities.
Measure R will increase funding to expand library hours and community access to all their services. To maintain Parks and Libraries essential services to all in our community. Children, Seniors and individuals with limited mobility would benefit from expanded mobile library services.
What challenges does the City of Watsonville face?
Despite being a great place to live, work and visit, the City of Watsonville faces several challenges, including aging and deteriorating streets, sidewalks, parks and recreation facilities, helping local business rebound from the impacts of the pandemic, and maintaining other essential city services.
Watsonville parks have been underfunded for years, with residents of similar-sized cities having up to 12 times more park space. Access to quality parks is essential to personal and community wellbeing and mental health. Local seniors, families and kids deserve the same clean open space and recreational opportunities as those in other nearby cities.
Additional funding is also needed to help maintain after-school programs, anti-gang activities, and recreation programs that keep youth and teens off the streets, out of trouble and away from drugs and gangs.
How is the City planning to address these challenges?
To address these needs and keep Watsonville safe, clean and healthy, the Watsonville City Council has placed a half-cent sales tax measure on the November 2022 ballot. If approved by voters, the measure will add 50¢ to a $100 purchase and generate approximately $5 million annually.
How will a local funding measure help protect and maintain
essential city services?
Funding from a measure will:
Fix potholes and maintain streets
Keep the Watsonville Slough Trails safe and clean
Create safe places for kids to play
Maintain after-school and summer programs serving at-risk youth and teens to keep them safe and out of trouble
Create employment opportunities that help sustain the local economy
Repair, maintain and improve aging parks, fields, playgrounds and trails
Maintain library hours, services and access for seniors and people with disabilities
Do sales tax measures affect essential purchases like groceries and medicine?
No. By law, essential purchases like groceries and prescription medicine are exempt from the sales tax, which helps ensure the cost is not a burden to those on fixed or limited incomes.
Who would pay the sales tax?
The sales tax would be paid both by residents and visitors who work or shop in Watsonville and provide locally controlled revenue to keep neighborhoods, parks and recreational facilities clean, safe and well maintained, provide youth and senior programming and other essential city services.
Could the State cut or take sales tax funding?
No. By law, revenue from the sales tax measure could not be taken by the State. All local sales tax dollars must stay here in Watsonville.
How can I be sure funds are spent as promised?
The measure will require fiscal accountability protections, including independent citizen oversight. By law, all funds must be spent on local projects and none of the money can be used on administrator salaries or pensions.
Is now the right time to go for a sales tax?
We know that when times get tough, people tend to rely more heavily on their community programs than in good times. These services, including after-school programs, anti-gang activities, libraries and recreation programs are particularly important for youth and seniors as they provide free, quality and accessible outdoor and learning opportunities. A local sales tax measure will help keep this funding local to meet the needs of our community, rather than being taken by the county or state.
How long would the sales tax measure last?
The sales tax measure would last until ended by voters, ensuring that the City has the revenue needed to improve and maintain local parks, streets, services and community programs well into the future.