The REAL Skinny on the Fiscal Impact of Measure W

The Election Code 9212 report can be found on the City’s website, and it evaluates the potential impacts of Measure W, including the possible fiscal effect that passage of the measure could have on the City’s General Fund.

With respect to the hypothetical impact the project could have on revenue, one fact bears repeating: despite the developer’s claims that his project will create new revenue for Pacifica as a result of the construction of a hotel and retail establishments, in addition to apartments, the initiative merely sets forth certain conditions for “potential” development, but doesn’t approve any particular development plan. In other the words, there is no binding commitment from the developer to construct anything.

Measure W would permit rezoning the quarry to include a four story, 206 unit apartment complex on our pristine coastline. The current developer may never build anything, and could simply flip the property to realize the great increase in value created by the potential for residential construction.

That said, it becomes clear that any representation by the developer of increased revenues for the City from more property taxes, sales tax, and transient occupancy tax is a ruse to entice Pacifica’s voters to vote in favor of Measure W. Since the only effect of Measure W is to permit rezoning the quarry to allow construction of apartments, factoring in potential revenue from sales tax and the transient occupancy tax is misleading. Yes, more revenue for the City will come from property tax and vehicle licensing fees due to the proposed apartments, but only an estimated $272,0001 annually. According to the consultants who analyzed the fiscal impact of Measure W, this would just cover the increase in the City’s cost of services.2

In conclusion, the positive fiscal impact on the City’s General Fund should Measure W be approved is insignificant. The passage of Measure W means only that the Quarry may be rezoned for a residential development with four story apartment buildings and up to 206 units. The only party that is guaranteed to benefit from a substantial increase in revenue is the developer, not our beautiful city.

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