On November 5, 2019, voters of [Stanton] overwhelmingly supported two measures that would tax any type of
cannabis businesses and increase motel visitor’s fees on those staying in our local motels. Because of a lot of misinformation that was sent out by the opponent of both measures, I want to set the record straight with the facts supported by Stanton’s municipal code.
First is Measure A titled “Potential Tax on Future Cannabis Businesses in Stanton”. The Measure A’s benefits read as follows, “To improve general City services, such as police, fire and emergency response, parks and youth/senior
services, and street repair”. The City Council was being proactive by making sure that any future cannabis businesses pay the cost of doing business in our town and keeps both permitting and regulation of these types of businesses from being paid for by local taxpayers.
By passing Measure A the city can now legally tax future cannabis cultivation, lab testing, dispensary sales,
manufacturing, distribution, and any other cannabis activities, it was overwhelmingly approved by voters of Stanton on election day.
Also, with the passing of Measure A all future cannabis businesses or related activity in our town will pay this tax. Therefore, the cost of regulating and permitting cannabis will not be a burden on the taxpayers or the city’s General Fund.
Since a large portion of our annual budget goes towards public safety services, any additional revenue generated by this future cannabis tax will help pay for our police and fire protection related to these future businesses if the
State mandates our town to have them or if they are approved by the voters.
The two most important benefits of the passing of Measure A is being able to recover the cities cost related
to all cannabis businesses in Stanton. Plus, the tax will be paid by the cannabis business owners and not local taxpayers. The passage of Measure A does not change our current Stanton cannabis laws which do not allow any type of cannabis activity other than what is permitted by State mandated law. Cannabis can again only be legalized by a vote of the residents or a majority vote of the City Council.
Additionally, Measure A will provide resources to remove illegal cannabis dispensaries and related businesses that
impact the cost of public safety to Stanton taxpayers.
I would like to thank the following supporters of Measure A for their belief in the best interests of the residents of our town. Tom Dominguez, President of the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriff’s, Kantubhai G. Patel,
Owner of the Chester Inn Motel, Andrew N. Marquez, State of California Fire Chief, Retired, Alexander Ethans,
Mayor of Stanton, Retired, and Jimmy Ta, Stanton Community Manager Continental Gardens.
It is my belief that we needed to have a Measure A to legally tax all future cannabis businesses that will come
into our city so we can maintain a balanced budget and count on the additional revenue for essential public services to our residents and businesses.
Next is Measure B which also passed overwhelmingly. Again, this is a tax that the residents of Stanton do not have to pay but will directly benefit from. The benefits of Measure B read as follows, “To maintain
and improve essential Stanton public services including emergency paramedic response and fire protection, police
patrolling homelessness and preventing burglaries, housing affordability programs and other City services”. I fully supported the visitor motel fee because it will not increase taxes on Stanton residents and applies only to motel guests visiting our city.
The motel visitor fee increase is a fair way to recover increased service costs to the Stanton taxpayers because
of the rising demand for public safety at the motels on Beach Boulevard. The majority of our motels on Beach Boulevard have caused our police and fire services costs to double and is costing over $100,000 of resident’s tax dollars for police, fire and paramedic responses annually. We needed to have the people that stay in our motels pay this cost and not our taxpayers.
Our town’s motel visitors’ rate had not increased in over 40 years and will continue to be the lowest among our
neighboring cities. The revenue provided by this voter supported tax will help in funding public safety for both our residents and businesses as well as other essential public services. Measure A will help keep Stanton’s budget balanced for the sixth straight year.
It is important that every resident understands that under the Stanton Municipal Code they will not be paying any
part of the motel tax. This fee applies only to motel visitors staying in our town. It does not tax your home or anywhere a person rents in Stanton other than motels.
With the passage of Measures A and B, it will be the first time that levied taxes will not be paid by the residents of our town but will receive the benefits of this new general fund revenue. This ballot measure was also supported our town’s Police and Fire as well as local motel owners and many of our town’s community leaders.
I hope this has given you a better understanding of the positive effects of the overwhelming passing of A and B and
the correct facts of both measures. I want to personally thank all of our town’s voters for going to the ballot and supporting Measures A and B and promise that the funds will be spent to “KEEP STANTON SAFE” and make “A BETTER STANTON”. We as a community will all benefit from them.
This article was written by David John Shawver, Mayor of the City of Stanton.