Oakland Library Measure 2022 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is Measure C?
Measure C is on the June 7th ballot. It will extend an existing, voter-approve parcel tax allowing Oakland Public Libraries to keep libraries open, maintain hours, and continue providing safe places for children and teens. It will protect senior programs and provide outreach services to the homeless – all WITHOUT raising tax rates.
How much money will Measure C raise?
Extending this measure will raise approximately $18 million per year.
Why has the City of Oakland placed Measure C on the ballot?
Oakland’s libraries are largely funded by two parcel taxes, overwhelmingly passed by voters in 2004 and 2018 for 20 years each. The first measure, passed in 2004, expires soon and must be extended to keep libraries open and maintain library services. If this funding goes away, our neighborhood libraries will face reduced hours, library closures, and the elimination of vital programs and services.
What is the actual question that voters will be asked to decide in June?
Shall the measure retaining and enhancing library services throughout Oakland, including: providing safe places for youth; senior programs; and homelessness outreach, resources, and services; and keeping neighborhood libraries open without increasing tax rates, by renewing the tax at the current $144.51 rate per single family parcel, other parcel types at specified rates, providing about $18,000,000 annually for 30 years, with audits, citizens’ oversight, and exemptions for low-income seniors and residents, be adopted?
How will funds from Measure C be used?
Funds will be used to:
Prevent library closures and maintain extended hours to better accommodate students, seniors, and working families.
Provide safe places and protect programs for children and teens to keep them engaged and prepare them for lifelong learning and successful future careers.
Keep libraries safe, clean, and welcoming.
Maintain literacy services.
Make improvements to keep users and staff safe during the pandemic and beyond.
Increase computer and internet access for all.
By law, all funds MUST stay in Oakland and be used only for Oakland libraries.
Who is eligible to vote on Measure C?
All of the 253,000+ registered voters within the City of Oakland will be eligible to vote on Measure C. The last day to register and be eligible to vote on this measure is May 23.
What’s required for Measure C to pass (win)?
At least two-thirds (66.7%) of the voters who cast their ballots in the June 7th election must vote in favor of the measure for it to be approved.
What happens if Measure C does not pass?
If Measure C does not pass, Oakland Public Libraries will be forced to cut hours, close on certain days, close locations, and reduce programs as soon as 2023.
How long will Measure C last? Measure C will automatically end after 30 years.
Will businesses share in the cost of Measure C?Yes, both commercial and residential property owners will pay under Measure C.
How can we be assured that funds from this measure will be spent properly?
Measure C funds can be spent only for Oakland libraries. By law, neither the City nor the State can take this funding away to use for other purposes. The measure is temporary and cannot be extended without a new vote. Exemptions for low-income seniors and residents are included. Regular audits and continuous citizen review will also ensure the funds collected are properly used.
Are there tax exemptions for low-income households?
Yes, there are exemptions for low-income households (60% of area median income) and for low-income senior households (80% of area median income). The definitions of low-income and very low-income are based on a formula from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
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