Measure S is a 1/2 percent transactions and use tax approved by 63% of Downey voters in November 2016 and went into effect on April 1, 2017. Measure S generates approximately $10 million per year with 50 percent of the revenues being allocated for public safety personnel and related safety programs, and the other 50 percent for the debt service of the $50 million lease revenue bond which is funding the Measure S Neighborhood Improvement Program.
To fulfill the commitments to improve parks and significant infrastructure, in Fall 2017, the City’s public financing authority approved the issuance of $50 million in lease revenue bonds (tax exempt obligations) to be repaid over the course of 20 years with revenues derived from Measure S. The bond funds are not used for current operations. As an issuer of tax-exempt bonds, the City needed to spend at least 85 percent of the bond proceeds within three years. Despite the short time-frame and substantially increasing the City’s Capital Improvement Program with no additional hiring, the City was able to fulfill this obligation and completed nearly all the Measure S Neighborhood Improvement Projects within the 3 year period. A tremendous achievement by the City Council and City Staff, and could not be done without the patience and support of the Community.
Measure S expires in 20 years and cannot be renewed without voter approval.
Measure S included a requirement that an advisory committee be created to review on a quarterly basis, the City's expenditure of revenues generated by Measure S. The Committee consists of five members appointed by the City Council from each of the five Council Districts. Appointed members include Vice Chair Mario A. Guerra, Members Donald LaPlante, Dorothy Pemberton, Carrie Uva, and Michael Murray.
The Independent Citizens' Oversight Committee held their first meeting on April 11, 2018. City Staff provided Committee Members with an update on expenditures for Public Safety personnel and equipment, as well as a status on the various parks and facilities improvement projects.