Sunday, November 11, 2007

Rialto's Utility Tax is UP for RENEWAL (Press Enterprise Nov. 7, 2007) The Utility Tax Established in 2003, It's Considered to be a VITAL Part of Rial

BS Ranch Perspective

During the first passing of the So Called J&K Utility Tax Bill had passed, the City Council, City Administrator, at the total Advice of their Council. Owens (City of Rialto's Council). Let's see the city council took the money from the J&K Utility Tax Money, then they purchased a new T-201 Ladder Truck, E-201 Fire Engine, E-202 Fire Engine, E-203 Fire Engine, MA-201 Ambulance, MA-201A Ambulance, MA-202 Ambulance, BC-201 Battalion Chief's Command Unit, T-201 UT-201 1 Ton Truck w/utility bed, & Utility Trailer w/SCUBA Compressor for Scott Air Pack Bottle Fill, T-203&T204 1 ton trucks for Fire Station Three & Four, The City Council also purchased maintenance Equipment for the Code Enforcement, and the Water Department!

The City Council also gave the Rialto Fire Department, Maintenance Department, Water Department (Everyone but the Police Department) a new contract including a raise) The Police Department was still being held out for a Contract with the County of San Bernardino Sheriff's Department for Law Enforcement Duties. In the mean time The Lawyer's Representing the Citizen's of Rialto, and the RPBA (Rialto Police Benefit Association) had opened a law suit against the City Council and their decision to go to the County of San Bernardino Sheriff's Department for Law Enforcement Duties. The Judge in the case had placed and injunction against the case freezing the City Council from Any Contract with the Sheriff's Department Pending, an outcome of a signature gathering by the people of the city of Rialto and the possible change in laws that might effect the same.

Well, in the mean time the Rialto City Council wanted to force as many people to leave Rialto as they possibly could so they laid off all the new hired people that were still on Probation, almost 12 or 13 people total, was laid off. Not just that they were moving all these people all over the place and it was terrible. Placing a more then 27 person shortage to the Police Department ALONE!!

So all the J&K Utility Tax money that was taken in was spent on mostly all the Rialto Fire Department, and then Maintenance Department. There had to be an equal amount that was spent on chasing the people in the Police Department away, In just Literature, Commercials that ran on the local channel, and late night channels on the lower priced channels regarding Closing the aw enforcement and opening up the Police Department as the Sheriff Department, also they had to pay for Advertisement with local Radio, Not to mention the literature that was passed out with the fire Department, and the two to three times that they did a mailer program that cost the city some $40,000 only covers the cost to mail the envelopes not the cost of printing paper envelops etc etc... that might be another $5000 or so!! they did this mailing program three times so that was at least $120, 000.00 to mail the envelopes alone, that doesn't count for the cost of printing the flier, each flier was different for each mailer. Each of the mailers were Multi colored and were equally expensive in cost, so they had to cost at least $5000-$9000 a batch for a total of $15,000-$27,000 thousand when mailed the cost was a grand total of $135, 000.00 to $147,000.00 These figures are astronomical when you figure that they are using money that should be used to run the city instead they are using these funds to tear down the city!!

The Voters should think long and hard before they vote for this again!! Unless the city council has a change of heart such as a NEW CITY COUNCIL, ALONG WITH A NEW CITY ADMINISTRATION AND CITY LAWYER TO GO ALONG WITH ALL THIS NEWNESS!!!


Rialto's utility tax up for renewal

Download story podcast

09:37 AM PST on Wednesday, November 7, 2007
The Press-Enterprise

A city utility tax established four years ago, and now regarded as a vital part of Rialto's public safety budget, had a healthy lead early today in the special election to decide whether to extend the tax until 2013.

At 1 a.m. Wednesday, five hours after the polls closed, ballots from 31 of Rialto's 38 precincts had been tabulated, said Kathy Jackson, executive secretary for the San Bernardino County Registrar's office. Measure D was ahead by a wide margin -- almost two-thirds of the votes at that point favored extending the tax.

Turnout for Tuesday's special election was low, with the utility tax the only matter before Rialto voters.

The 8 percent levy is added to Rialto customers' cable television, water, sewer, telephone, cellular, electricity and natural gas bills.

If voters don't approve a five-year extension, the tax would expire at the end of June. Measure D needs a simple majority to pass, said City Clerk Barbara McGee.

Each year, Rialto collects about $12 million from the utility tax, accounting for 24 percent of the city's General Fund budget. That money helps pay for services including police, fire, parks, public works and code enforcement.

The issue first went before voters in June 2003. The outcome was so close -- 1,649 yes votes to 1,644 no votes -- that the San Bernardino County registrar's office conducted a recount.

On Tuesday, Rialto's 31, 580 registered voters could cast ballots at polling places including seven churches, three public schools, two city fire stations, a country club, the senior center and an American Legion hall.

Since the Utility Users Tax was adopted, the Rialto Fire Department has used money to purchase a fire truck with a 105-foot aerial ladder that can reach the top of a 10-story building and can pump a long spray of water from its attached water cannon.

The department also was able to add nine firefighters/paramedics and reopen Station 204, which had been closed because of Rialto's budget struggles.

People 65 and older are exempt from paying the utility tax, as are families that meet state and federal criteria as very low income. Residents seeking that waiver must complete a form at Rialto City Hall. Currently, 2,015 senior citizens and 67 low-income households receive the tax exemption.

The city was to post election results on its Web site,, and on KRTO Channel 3, its government access cable channel, throughout the night.

One group monitoring the returns was firefighters at Station 201, the firehouse next to City Hall, and Rialto's busiest.

"We've been watching the local cable channel, but there aren't any results yet," Rialto Fire Capt. Bob Romo said 90 minutes after the polls closed.

Reach Mary Bender at 909-806-3056 or


No comments: