Proposed 2018 Ballot Measures

A Pathway to a Sustainable Future

The City Council is implementing a fiscal sustainability plan and will soon consider the placement of two locally-controlled revenue measures for the November 2018 General Election ballot to maintain essential city services, such as public safety, youth and senior services. The proposed ballot measures include:

  • A Cannabis Business tax
  • A Charter City measure and an enhanced Real Property Transfer tax

These ballot measures will require voter approval for adoption.

About Union City's Proposed Charter

Becoming a Charter City would give Union City voters more local autonomy and the ability to raise revenues to maintain essential city services, such as public safety, youth and senior services.

The proposed Union City Charter keeps the City's current governing system intact. The following key governing areas will remain the same in the proposed City Charter:

  • Municipal Code, all ordinances, codes, resolutions and regulations retained unless inconsistent with the adopted Charter.
  • City Council may amend existing policies and codes under same procedure now used.
  • Council-Manager form of government retained. City Manager implements City Council policies, and hires department heads.
  • Existing election procedures required by General Law cities are retained.  Any changes to election procedures including term limits, time of election, and how City Council members are elected are generally subject to voter approval.

Charter-Cityscape-Vector

Local Control Over Local Revenue

Charter Cities may adopt an enhanced Real Property Transfer Tax. A Real Property Transfer Tax is a one-time payment made, typically included in the closing costs, when the property is transferred from seller to buyer. The buyer and seller decide how to allocate the tax.

As a general law city, Union City’s current Real Property Transfer Tax is capped at $0.55 per $1,000 of value of consideration paid for sale of property under State law. An enhanced Real Property Transfer Tax of $10 per $1,000 of value of consideration paid for sale of property would generate an average of $5 million annually that can help to maintain essential City services, such as public safety and youth and senior services.

Union City receives far lower revenue to maintain essential services than our neighboring cities receive through the enhancement of a Real Property Transfer Tax.

The Real Property Transfer Tax rates in other Alameda County Charter Cities are:

  • Oakland - $15 per thousand
  • Berkeley - $15 per thousand
  • Piedmont - $13 per thousand
  • Emeryville - $12 per thousand
  • Alameda - $12 per thousand
  • Albany - $11.50 per thousand
  • San Leandro - $6 per thousand
  • Hayward - $4.50 per thousand

About Union City's Cannabis Business Tax

After commercial cannabis became legal in the State of California in 2018, Union City decided to establish a strict regulatory framework to oversee commercial cannabis businesses in our city limits. Union City has administered a rigorous application process for potential commercial cannabis applicants seeking a cannabis permit to operate in Union City. A thorough vetting of applicants has produced two highly qualified commercial cannabis businesses who are undergoing the approval process with Union City at this time.

In anticipation of the operation of future cannabis businesses, the City of Union City will consider placing a cannabis business tax on the November 2018 General Election ballot. An estimated $1.4 million in revenue from a cannabis business tax will go towards maintaining essential services in addition to possibly funding community education programs and enforcement to prevent the illegal black market of cannabis. 

Learn More and Provide Feedback

You can follow developments here on this site or you can also follow us on Facebook and Nextdoor for updates, as well.

Let us know your thoughts on the Charter City Initiative, we appreciate all feedback.

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Meeting Records

The first Public Hearing for Charter City was held on Tuesday, May 8, 2018. Below is the staff report and presentation:

A second Public Hearing is taking place on June 12, 2018 at the regularly scheduled City Council meeting taking place in the Council Chambers at 34009 Alvarado Niles Road at 7:00 PM. The public notice for this Public Hearing is below:

A Presentation of Potential Fiscal and Service Level/Program Impacts Associated with the November 2018 Municipal Ballot was given on June 26, 2018. Below is the staff report and presentation: