Future Modesto - Frequently Asked Questions
- What contributes to Modesto’s quality of life?
The City of Modesto has a special history and a bright future, with a treasured small-town feel. Our amazing community has something to offer everyone, including unique neighborhoods and several family-friendly parks. We are also a City of great neighbors who care about the safety of each other and maintaining the City’s quality of life.
- What is the current state of Modesto’s budget?
Unfortunately, today as a small town we are experiencing some big city problems like homelessness, blight, and criminal activity. We don’t receive enough funds from the State to tackle these big city problems.
In fact, the State still funds us like a rural community – so we don’t get the same state funding as other cities our size.
- How have City services been impacted due to lack of funding?
Addressing homelessness and keeping our City safe, clean and well-maintained is our top priority, which will help improve property values and quality of life.
The City of Modesto has about half of the police officers, including traffic enforcement, needed to keep a community of our size safe. Meanwhile, the number of DUIs and traffic fatalities continue to grow. Additional funding is needed to provide more police officers, firefighters, dispatchers, and paramedics to respond quickly to emergencies.
If we do not address these issues now, they will become even more expensive in the future.
- How is the City developing a long-term solution to its funding needs?
Currently, the City is considering a local funding ballot measure that would provide $39 million annually in locally controlled funding, through a one-cent local sales tax, to support City services.
- How would a local funding measure help preserve City services
Locally controlled revenue from a sales tax could help preserve many general City services, such as:
- Address homelessness
- Provide quick responses to 911 emergencies, including DUIs, gang, and drug-related crimes
- Support neighborhood police patrols, crime prevention, fire protection, and paramedics
- Fix and maintain roads and sidewalks
- Keep parks, recreation facilities and public areas safe and clear of trash and litter
- How much revenue could this potential measure generate to protect City services?
This potential measure is estimated to provide $39 million annually in locally controlled funding. For example, a one-cent sales tax would add 1 penny to a $10 purchase.
- Are there any exemptions to the sales tax?
Yes. Essential purchases, such as food and prescription medicine are exempt from sales tax.
- Are there any fiscal safeguards to ensure funds are spent correctly?
Yes. Fiscal safeguards for a potential measure include:
- All money raised by the measure will be used to fund community services and facilities in Modesto
- By law, no funds can be taken away by the State or County
- Community oversight will help ensure all funds are spent appropriately
- Could the State cut or take this local funding?
By law, revenue from a sales tax measure cannot be taken by the State, ensuring our tax dollars stay local for the benefit of Modesto residents.
- Does a sales tax measure ensure that Modesto’s visitors pay their fair share?
Yes. A sales tax measure is not a property tax and visitors would pay their fair share, ensuring that local homeowners and renters do not shoulder the entire burden.