Voter’s Edge California
Get the facts before you vote.
Brought to you by
League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
KPBS Voters Guide@KPBSNews
November 7, 2017 — Local Elections

City of El Monte
Measure EM - Majority Approval Required

To learn more about measures, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.

Election Results


2,187 votes yes (69.49%)

960 votes no (30.51%)

100% of precincts reporting (13/13).

Extend Transactions/Use Tax 10 years to Preserve Essential Services
— undefined

To preserve and stabilize funding for various essential City services such as fire and emergency response services; police staffing; street maintenance; senior and youth programs; park maintenance; graffiti removal; State-mandated storm drain upgrades; and to restore the City's "rainy day" general fund reserves, shall the City's existing half percent (1/2%) transactions and use tax be extended for ten years, subject always to the voters' power of repeal?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

Impartial analysis / Proposal

El Monte voters last approved the City of El Monte’s existing one-half of one percent (1/2%) transactions and use tax (“half-cent tax”) in November 2013. The half-cent tax is paid when people purchase goods from stores and businesses in the City. The half-cent tax expires March 31, 2019 unless a majority of El Monte voters approve Measure EM, the El Monte Temporary City Services Preservation Measure. Measure EM extends the half-cent tax by ten years to March 31, 2029.

The tax generates approximately $4.2 million a year in revenues which are deposited into the City’s general fund. As general fund revenues, the tax revenues may be used to pay for various City services, including, but not limited to the funding of essential public services such as fire and emergency response services; police staffing; street maintenance; senior and youth programs; park maintenance; graffiti removal; and State-mandated storm drain upgrades. Revenues are also used to restore the City’s “rainy day” reserves.

EXEMPTIONS: The half-cent tax does not apply to purchases of prescription medicines or the purchase of grocery store food basics like milk, meat, vegetables, bread, juices and the like.

COLLECTION: The half-cent tax is paid together with the existing State sales tax and is collected in the same manner. The half-cent tax adds a half penny to a retail purchase of $1 or 50¢ to a $100 retail purchase. With the exception of those items that are exempted from the tax, the half-cent tax applies to most over-the-counter sales of tangible goods and as well as restaurant purchases. Non-City residents share in paying the tax for most over-the-counter retail purchases thereby helping to pay for their use of the City’s infrastructure and services. For automobile sales, the tax applies only if the vehicle is registered to a City address, regardless of whether the vehicle was purchased from a dealership located inside of the City or outside of the City.

APPROVAL REQUIREMENT: Measure EM requires approval by a simple majority of El Monte voters. A “Yes” vote is a vote in favor of temporarily extending the half-cent tax for a period of ten years after March 31, 2019.

SUNSET CLAUSE AND CITIZEN OVERSIGHT: Under Measure EM, the tax would expire automatically on March 31, 2029. El Monte voters also reserve the right to repeal the tax in the manner prescribed by law. Measure EM also preserves the mandatory citizen’s fiscal oversight committee which monitors the use of Measure EM revenues.

         City Attorney

The above statement is an impartial analysis of Measure EM. If you desire a copy of the half-cent tax Measure please call the City Clerk’s Office at (626) 580-2020 and a copy will be mailed to you at no cost to you.

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

Measure EM is NOT A NEW TAX!


Measure EM simply extends for 10 more years an existing, temporary half-cent sales tax previously approved by voters.

Your YES vote to extend Measure EM is critical if we are to maintain existing police, fire and paramedic services, implement crime prevention strategies, retain senior programs and maintain streets.

A YES vote continues the Citizens Oversight Committee and ensures that groceries and prescription drugs remain exempt.

That’s why we are counting on you to vote YES on Measure EM one more time!

Reductions in federally funded Community Block Grant Programs, the dissolution of all redevelopment agencies ordered by the State and reduced sales tax revenue caused by recession-driven car dealership closures have created an ongoing $4 million-plus fiscal year structural deficit in El Monte.

To meet these fiscal challenges City Council Members, staff and public employees have worked hard to eliminate spending, make structural changes and keep all fire stations open!

We just can’t afford to lose the $4 million the half-cent sales tax generates right now. Not yet.

Soon many City revenue-generating projects will be up and running.

The Magellan project - a $55 million industrial park completed in 2016 - has already begun generating good-paying jobs and new City revenues.

And the Gateway project, the new 14-acre development connected to the El Monte Bus Station and the historic Downtown El Monte area, is under construction. It will deliver hundreds of jobs, much-needed housing, retail shops and $15 million State funded infrastructure upgrades to surrounding streets.

But until these projects and others in the pipeline for the years ahead are completed, our City needs to extend the half-cent sales tax to keep police on our streets, all fire stations open and streets repaved.

Vote YES on Measure EM!

          El Monte Museum Curator

          Los Angeles County Firefighters, Local 1014

          El Monte Police Officers Association

          Service Employees International Union 721

          Mayor, City of El Monte

Arguments AGAINST


Use tabs to select your choice. Use return to create a choice. You can access your choices by navigating to 'My Choices'.

Please share this site to help others research their voting choices.