Richmond voters encouraged to learn more about Measure U, the half-cent sales tax measure

RPD's summer crime prevention fair Saturday offers food, fun and signatures for fix-it tickets

Richmond voters will have multiple opportunities before the November election to learn more about Measure U, a half-cent sales tax measure.

Here’s the summary. Richmond City Council voted to place the sales tax hike on the November ballot with the primary intention of using the money it will generate annually to repair and maintain the city’s streets.

The average amount that would be paid per Richmond resident per month would be $2.93, according to the city. It would bring Richmond’s sales tax rate to 9.5-percent, equal to El Cerrito’s and .25-percent above San Pablo’s.

While the city’s streets have been improving in recent years, according to city officials, funding sources have run dry and the state of the streets are set to worsen.

If Measure U passes, however, voters will have to trust that Richmond’s council will use the $7 million it will generate annually solely for street repairs. The council decided to make the measure a general tax, meaning the revenue it generates can be used for other city services such as public safety and youth, health and wellness programs. The council did so to avoid the two-thirds voter approval required if the measure was for a specific-purpose tax.

The tax revenue generated by Measure U will be used to secure a bond that would allow the city to spend $30 million per year over three years to smooth over the streets, Lindsay has said.

More information about the measure can be accessed here. Also, several informational meetings are planned:

  • Sept. 11 at 7 p.m., Richmond City Council Chambers, 440 Civic Center Plaza
  • Sept. 18 at 7 p.m., Booker T. Anderson Community Center, 960 South 47th Street
  • Oct. 1 at 7 p.m., Recreation Complex, 3230 Macdonald Avenue
  • October 9th 7 p.m., Hilltop Mall Community Room, 2200 Hilltop Mall Road 2nd Floor (Door entrance between JCPenney and Police Department Substation)