The June 5 election yielded a negative result for Measure J, a Stanton utility tax increase of 2.5 percent designed to lessen the gap to pay for public safety services.
However, the same voting approved Measure K, designating all proceeds from the utility tax and what was the proposed increase monies to go specifically towards paying for public safety.
The voter turnout for Measure J was a total of 3,082 with 1, 696 voting against and 1,386 voting in favor.
For Measure K, there were 3, 078 voters total with 2,231 in favor of and 847 against.
According to David Shawver, mayor pro tem, the money produced by the current tax rate already goes towards public safety because that comprises over 70 percent of the annual budget.
“There is nothing left to cut except for public safety services now. It’s not like we were hiding anything, we really don’t have near enough money to run the city,” said Shawver.
“We’ve cut everything that we can cut and left only what the government says we need in order to have a city. We only have 19 city employees left and we are required to have them. No one gets a raise. We have been trying to protect our public safety services as best we can, but we might have to cut there now.”
Shawver said that he too is tired of paying taxes, but that $6 more on average a month didn’t seem to him, a Stanton resident, like too much to help keep up public safety.
Kevin Carr, who rallied against the tax increase said, “Now that Measure J did not pass our city leaders can see that we have reached our limit on taxes. It is time to stop blaming the State of California which is what they did back in 1993 when they imposed our current utility tax on us residents and businesses.”
Carr had set up the website www.saveourstanton.org to sway voters from the tax increase, saying that the proposed increase was not the right fix for the problem.
“This means that Stanton will have to live within its means just like us residents and businesses,” said Carr, “Thanks to me our city council has lived up to their major campaign promise which is no new taxes.”