The Isla Vista Community Services District estimates a proposed tax, which will come to a vote this June, will generate approximately $702,444 in annual revenue for the district and cost I.V. residents an additional $30.41 a year.
Measure R, a ballot measure which will appear on this year’s June 5 primary election ballot, would fund I.V.’s newest local government through the use of a utility user tax (UUT). The tax would add an additional 8 percent surcharge to five utilities on I.V. residents’ bills: electricity, garbage disposal, gas, sewage and water services.
In a report presented at a special meeting on Tuesday, the Community Services District (CSD) presented its first revenue projections. The CSD arrived at the figures by calculating eight percent of all I.V. bills in 2017 for the five utilities.
Dividing that amount by the number of I.V. residents, 23,096 according to the 2010 census, means that individuals will each have to pay approximately $30.41 annually.
The tax figures originally projected the CSD would accrue $834,993, though additional deductions the CSD is still considering would drop the number to $702,444.
There are two specific deductions the CSD is considering: a state-owned exemption which amounts to $7,300 and a low-income exemption which totals $125,249 of tax savings for residents.
A low-income exemption would excuse residents from paying the 8 percent tax on gas, water and electricity.
Residents would be able to qualify for the exemption by providing proof they are enrolled in the California Alternate Rates for Energy or Family Electric Rate Assistance programs. They would also need proof they own the electricity utility account enrolled in the assistance program.
In order to apply for the exemption, residents would have to file an application with the general manager of the CSD.
According to the language readers will see at the voting booth, the tax revenue will be used to fund “local improvements to parking, public safety, lighting, and sidewalks.”
The language also states that the funds will be used to provide tenant-landlord mediation services, create a municipal advisory council and operate community facilities and events such as the I.V. Community Room at 970 Embarcadero Del Mar or the I.V. Community Center, both of which are behind Naan Stop.
The ballot language originally claimed that the tax would accrue $642,000 in funds a year, though the CSD’s preliminary estimate is higher.
With the passage of Measure R, the CSD would acquire its first ongoing source of revenue since its creation in Nov. 2016.
Previously, grants and donors have solely funded the CSD, including UC Santa Barbara, which pledged to provide $200,000 every year from 2017 to 2024 for projects the university agrees are useful.
Opponents of the measure, such as the group Isla Vistans Against Higher Taxes, have criticized the measure by claiming the CSD does not need the funds to provide the services it has set out to offer.
According to Tuesday’s preliminary report, the CSD has so far received $106,516 in grants and donations. The report projects that the CSD’s total revenue will reach $932,944 with the passage of the tax and by fully acquiring the $200,000 UCSB has pledged.
A version of this article appeared on p.3 of the May 10 print edition of the Daily Nexus.