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Measure A to be on the November 7 Ballot in the City of Perris

Background: On Nov. 7, 2023, Perris voters have the opportunity to defeat Measure A, a $120 million tax increase. Unless defeated, Measure A would impose a special business license tax for 30 years on distribution facilities and other industrial businesses in the City of Perris. This tax targets some Perris businesses and their employees, including those who live in our city – businesses that create good paying jobs in Perris’ warehouses. We all agree that good roads and other infrastructure are crucial to a thriving community. The City should spend the millions of tax dollars they already have on roads, parks, and other projects before harmfully raising taxes for our local businesses and residents.

The City is sitting on $41-plus million in unspent Road & Bridge District Fees for road improvements. Developers pay RBD fees to proactively cover the cost of road and bridge improvements. The City has more than $30 million of unspent RBD fees. Before imposing more taxes on Perris businesses, workers, and residents, the City should spend the millions in unspent taxes and fees it has already collected before asking the residents of Perris for more funds.

Warehouses already pay taxes…the City wants more. Whenever the City approves a warehouse project, the companies pay fees to maintain and improve Perris’ infrastructure – roads, sidewalks, parks, and other community infrastructure. The city’s existing business license tax generates approximately $365,000 per year. Measure A would result in a $3.6 million annual tax increase, an 886% increase.

Measure A is a double tax. These job-creating businesses are already the largest source of General Fund tax revenue. If these businesses relocate from Perris due to higher taxes, Measure A may result in higher unemployment and force painful cuts to police, fire, and other essential services.

Businesses that occupy Perris’ warehouses provide good paying, family-supporting jobs. Union labor builds these projects – providing employment close to where workers live and raise their families. Having retail distribution facilities in Perris means shorter commute times to and from work, more time spent at home, and less air pollution from longer commutes.

Measure A doesn’t designate how your tax dollars will be spent. The City states the revenue derived from the measure would be used to maintain and repair roads. But Measure A does not list specific projects. The use of this tax revenue would be left to the discretion of Perris City Council – who continue to ignore $30-plus million in unspent RBD fees.

Measure A’s tax hike couldn’t come at a worse time. Perris’ unemployment rate is more than 20% higher than California’s unemployment rate. Raising taxes will increase already high unemployment by driving these employers out of Perris and into neighboring cities with lower tax rates. This new tax threatens future development and job creation.

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