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April 30, 2008 > Union City officials hope voters will pass Measure K in June "Without it, the future looks bleak"

Union City officials hope voters will pass Measure K in June "Without it, the future looks bleak"

By Maureen Garrett

Measure K, Union City's public safety parcel tax is set to expire in March 2009 unless voters, in June, approve extending it with a two-thirds vote. In 2004, the tax was approved by a 68.6 percent of the voters.

In addition to extending Measure K, the city wants to increase the tax rate so there will be revenue to fund youth and family services, in particular youth violence prevention and intervention programs. Without it, the future looks bleak, they said.

Dr. Dianne Gates-Anderson, the Commissioner for the Human Relations Commission presented a detailed proposal at Tuesday night's council meeting. A work team consisting of New Haven School Board President Kevin Harper, Mayor Mark Green, Police Chief Greg Stewart and Karen Yifru from the Youth Violence Prevention Coalition met twice before the meeting

Four funding categories were proposed: staff, facilities, non-recurring costs and programs and initiatives. A budget of $500,000 has been proposed and Gates-Anderson suggested funds be allocated as follows:

( $120,000 for first-year only costs
( $60,000 facilities
( $172,000 staff
( $148,000 for programs and initiatives. Possible increase to $268,000 annually after the first year.

The City Council members suggested that instead of set amounts for each category, a range would be more appropriate.

If approved in June, the new rate is expected to raise an additional $2 million a year for the next 20 years. Property owners would be charged from $107.20 to $260.59 a year for multifamily and residential parcels. Homeowners whose incomes are below a certain level would be exempt from paying the tax. There is no specific exemption for those who are on fixed incomes or for seniors.

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