2018 Ballot Measures
Information about Measure O and Measure N on the November 6, 2018 Ballot
The City of Santa Rosa provides a full range of essential services to local residents and businesses, including fire and paramedic services, police patrols, street and sidewalk repair and parks and recreation programs. Our city services and infrastructure were put to the test during last year’s devastating fires and the subsequent rebuilding effort.
Existing Challenges Made Worse by Last Year’s Fires
Like communities throughout the Bay Area, Santa Rosa is challenged by the rapidly rising cost of living for local residents and the City’s cost of maintaining aging infrastructure and protecting essential services. These issues have been building for years but have been made worse by the fires that have reduced the already limited amount of available housing, increased the cost of constructing new housing, forced the City to deplete emergency reserves and required an expensive cleanup and rebuilding effort that is ongoing.
Measures O And N: Addressing Safety and Affordability
To address these urgent community needs, the City Council has placed two local measures, Measure O, a temporary sales tax, and Measure N, an affordable housing bond, on the November 6, 2018 ballot. If approved by local voters, these measures would provide locally-controlled funding to help fire-damaged neighborhoods recover, protect public safety and essential City services from budget cuts, and help provide affordable housing for our community.
Measure O: Temporary Emergency Funding to Protect Vital Services
The City Council placed Measure O, the Vital City Services Measure, on the November ballot. This temporary one-quarter cent sales tax would provide emergency funding to help stabilize the city budget and protect essential services from budget cuts. If approved by a majority of voters, Measure O would provide $9 million annually to help Santa Rosa recover from the recent fires, rebuild our infrastructure, preserve emergency services such as rapid 9-1-1 emergency response times, and address other critical City needs. After six years, this temporary sales tax will automatically expire.
If approved by a majority of voters, Measure O would provide approximately $9 million annually in locally-controlled funding to:
- Update aging communication systems to help firefighters, paramedics and police officers respond quickly in an earthquake, fire or other emergency
- Maintain 9-1-1 emergency response times
- Restore damaged facilities and infrastructure and help prevent future fires
- Repair potholes, streets and sidewalks and improve the conditions of local roads
- Preserve existing City services and programs
- Address additional urgent City needs
Measure N: Santa Rosa’s Housing Recovery Bond
Many Santa Rosa residents are struggling to afford a decent home. The City Council placed Measure N, the $124 million Housing Recovery Bond Measure, on the November ballot to assist in housing recovery and develop affordable housing within Santa Rosa. Measure N would construct and preserve affordable housing for low-income and moderate-income families, veterans, seniors, persons with disabilities, persons experiencing homelessness and other vulnerable populations. All Measure N funds must be spent within Santa Rosa.
If approved by two-thirds of local voters, Measure N would provide locally-controlled funding to finance affordable housing projects. Priority projects are expected to include:
- Expanding local affordable housing opportunities for low- and middle‑income families, veterans, seniors, people with disabilities and other vulnerable populations
- Providing permanent supportive housing for those experiencing homelessness
- Home ownership opportunities for first-time home buyers and assistance to those who lost their homes in the October 2017 fires
Mandatory Fiscal Accountability
Each measure includes fiscal accountability provisions to ensure funds are spent in accordance with the terms of the measures. By law, funds from Measure O and Measure N could not be taken away by the State and annual audits are required. Measure N would also require the establishment of a local oversight committee to ensure funds are spent properly.
The City welcomes your questions and feedback about these measures and the City’s needs. For additional information, please call (707) 543-4699. To arrange for a community presentation, email Measures@srcity.org. You can also click the links below to learn more.