Measure H went into effect on April 1, 2023, and will stay in effect until ended by the voters.
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Yes, unlike the state, county and special district sales taxes, all revenue generated by Measure H will stay in Modesto; not one cent can be taken by the State.
If you have questions regarding the applicability of this Measure to your place of business or transactions within the City of Modesto, please contact State of California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) for more information:
California Department of Tax and Fee Administration
P.O. Box 942879
Sacramento, CA 94279
General, Non-Confidential Tax Questions Form
The tax is added during transactions that include sales tax. Sales tax, for the most part, is collected at the point of sale when purchasing goods. Measure H is a one-cent sales tax that increased the sales tax from 7.875% to 8.875%. With the passage of Measure H, tax for a $100 purchase increased by $1 dollar. Shopping locally means that funds go directly to the City to support public safety. Food groceries, medications, certain medical devices and other "Necessities of Life" are exempt from sales tax.
Yes, financial accountability is required with Measure H, including:
Essential purchases like food groceries and medicine are exempt from sales tax, helping to ensure Measure H is not a burden to those on fixed or limited incomes.
At any time, Measure H can be repealed by the voters.
Measure H is a one-cent sales tax to fund general city services passed by Modesto voters in November 2022. To fund general city services in the City of Modesto, such as police patrols, gang, drug, and crime prevention; fire protection, paramedic/911 emergency response; addressing homelessness; cleaning-up trash and illegal dumping; keeping streets, parks, sidewalks, landscapes, and infrastructure safe, clean, and well-maintained. This ordinance establishes a one-cent sales tax which shall provide $42,000,000 annually for general government use in Modesto until ended by voters, with citizen oversight and all money locally controlled.
Qualifying purchases made in the City of Modesto are subject to the tax. This includes items such as clothing, cars, household goods and alcohol. Pursuant to California Revenue and Taxation Code, food groceries, prescriptions, certain medical devices, and other “Necessities of Life” are exempt from sales taxes.
Measure H will:
Effective April 1, 2023; the sales tax rate in Modesto is 8.875%. The breakdown of the sales tax rate is as follows 6.00% to State General Fund, 1% to City/County General Fund, .125% to County Libraries, .75% to Countywide Transportation Fund, and 1% to Modesto General Services (Measure H).
Measure H will not limit the use of tax revenue. Measure H is a “general tax”, not a “special tax”. Therefore, the City may use funds from the tax for any legitimate governmental purpose. Through the budget process, the City Council will decide how the revenue is allocated based on the establishing of Council priorities.
The Council explored all types of revenue generating avenues. While a parcel tax was viewed as a stable mechanism, it was also viewed as regressive (meaning owners of smaller, or lower valued properties pay the same as owners of larger, higher value properties). Property owners also contested that this left them to bear the burden for financing services/programs that provide benefits to the community at large. A sales tax means that both local and visiting consumers will pay a share.
The residents and the City Council of the City of Modesto desired to restore critical City services aimed at reducing crime, maintaining a safe and inviting community, and improving quality of life. The city has grown exponentially in the past 15 years and has started to exhibit growing problems such as homelessness, blight, and crime. The Great recession also significantly decimated and reduced staff, police officers, fire personnel and emergency medical response times have dropped to unacceptable levels far below industry levels. The funding shortages have impacted recreational services, city park conditions, and ability to provide city services. This one cent tax will proactively assist the city to improve services and quality of life for citizens of Modesto. The goal through this measure is to address homelessness; Providing quicker responses to 911 emergencies, including DUIs, gang, and drug-related crimes; Supporting neighborhood police patrols, crime prevention, traffic enforcement, fire protection, and paramedics; Fixing and maintaining roads and sidewalks; and Keeping parks, recreation facilities, and public areas safe and clear of trash and litter.
Measure H required the creation of a Citizens’ Oversight Committee in addition to annual independent audits. The City Council established the Measure H Oversight Board consisting of Modesto residents to oversee the expenditure of funds raised by this measure.
The City’s independent external auditors are also required to audit annual revenues and expenditures to ensure that they are consistent with the allocation approved by the City Council.