April 20, 2024

Measure Z passed Nov. 9, raising sales taxes by one cent in the city of Riverside and generating a projected annual city fund of $48 million.

Measure Z received 41 percent of voters who voted “no” on the measure while 58  percent voted “yes,” which allowed for it to pass.

According to The Press Enterprise, the measure will help bring in funds to increase public safety that include hiring more police officers, restoring cuts to the fire department and paying for primary services such as tree trimming and road repair.

Mike Gardner, Riverside council member, said the measure will be able to provide better city services.

“The measure will help on spending with infrastructure, including key staffing such as police and fire staff and paying off debt,” Gardner said. “The revenues will not be seen until the second quarter of next year, which gives us time to figure out how we can allocate the dollars.”

The city will look at how to spend the money, and after 20 years, Measure Z will be reintroduced on the ballots to be voted on once more.

Dr. Keanon Alderson, director of the Business Administration Program and associate professor of business at California Baptist University, said the new tax has benefits as well as drawbacks.

“If you are going to buy a car, that could get pretty pricey, and some people may buy a car in a nearby city that doesn’t have the high tax rate,” Alderson said. “Normally, I see these things voted on
after  about two to three years, but 20 years is a long time to wait to vote again.”

The city plans to adopt an ordinance implementing a citizen budget committee that will help advise the council on how to spend the money and where is it needed in the city.

Rebecca Thomas, senior communication disorders major, said she is not shocked the measure passed because it is a growing middle-class community but is unsure of how she will benefit from it.

“The overall measure in my opinion makes sense,” Thomas said. “All of us who do pay taxes are forced to pay for things from which everyone will benefit. Basically, I’m not positive raising our taxes will fix everything.”

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