If approved, Signal Hill residents would have a chance to vote on the initiative in a future election. The community initiative aims to amend the City Charter to require that registered Signal Hill voters have a chance to vote on all new city taxes, assessments, property fees and bonds.
If a city revenue proposal is made, it will be required to go on a ballot with full disclosure of why the funds are needed, what the new revenue will support, who pays, how much, and for how long, according to a statement from Community First. If the revenue proposal provides a subsidy for economic development, the ballot must also include a description of the project and identify the developer.
According to Maria Harris, a member of Community First who helped found the group, states that one of the reasons Community First sponsored the initiative was because the City adopted a new economic-development ordinance, which gives the City Council “full authority to engage in economic development activity, even though the state stopped funding redevelopment,” according to a statement from Community First.
“Any new local taxes, assessments, property fees or bonds earmarked for economic development will most likely come from the City’s local taxpayers, not from the state as was done before,” says the statement. “This raises concerns about shifting development costs to us, the residents and property owners. If we are paying for the redevelopment, we want a say in how our money is spent,” Harris said.