Frequently Asked Questions
Local Needs in Redlands
What contributes to Redlands’ high quality of life?
Here in Redlands, we’re a big town with a small town feel. Our city has something for everyone — parks, local businesses, the A.K. Smiley Public Library, senior and youth programs, excellent public safety services and more.
As Redlands plans for the future in this difficult economic climate, the City is working hard to preserve city services and maintain residents’ quality of life.
What public safety challenges are facing the City of Redlands?
We’re proud that Redlands is one of the few cities in the County with its own Police and Fire Departments, guaranteeing local control and that our police and firefighter/paramedics are available when needed and not diverted to service other cities.
However, calls for 9-1-1 emergencies and fire risks are all much higher than in the past, and the City has fewer police officers and firefighter/paramedics in Redlands today than 10 years ago. Ensuring that the City has enough police officers and firefighter/paramedics to respond quickly to 9-1-1 emergencies is critical to keeping the community a safe place to live, maintaining response times and saving lives.
Additionally, reducing homelessness in Redlands is going to require additional public safety resources to help address the issue.
What other needs are facing the City?
The City is responsible for keeping our parks, roads, sidewalks, storm drains and other local infrastructure clean, safe and well-maintained.
The City continues to prioritize keeping up with basic repairs and maintenance to public facilities and local infrastructure. When these repairs are not resolved, they become a lot more expensive to repair in the future. With over 12 miles of damaged sidewalks and 15 miles of damaged curbs, an additional local source of funding would help the City fix its aging infrastructure and keep up with regular repairs.
How are budget cuts affecting city services?
Though the City has created a balanced budget every year for the past 12 years, the scope of the City’s needs is greater than the current resources available. Despite the City’s fiscal conservatism, Redlands is facing a $5.6 million budget shortfall following the economic downturn and coronavirus shutdowns. That budget deficit is expected to widen in the future.
In response to this deficit, the City has been working to trim all nonessential expenses and has already been forced to make significant budget cuts, including but not limited to cutting 38 full-time positions and 42 part-time city positions, eliminating fire department staff, reducing park maintenance and library services. Without a new revenue stream, the cuts will become more severe in the next fiscal year.
How is the City planning to maintain city services and address City needs amidst these budget cuts?
To preserve public safety, city services and local infrastructure, the Redlands City Council recently voted unanimously to place Measure T, a one-cent sales tax measure, on the November 3, 2020 ballot. Measure T would provide locally controlled funding to offset the budget deficit, address needs locally and minimize budget cuts.
What needs will Measure T address?
Measure T could address needs across the community, including but not limited to:
- Restore budget cuts suffered as a result of the COVID‐19 pandemic and its economic consequences
- Addressing the homelessness problem
- Maintaining police services including neighborhood police patrols, crime prevention and investigations
- Reducing gang activity and drug-related crimes
- Keeping public areas, parks and recreation facilities well-maintained and free of graffiti and maintaining public buildings and infrastructure including sidewalks, curbs and storm drains
- Providing fire protection and paramedic services and replacing outdated lifesaving and firefighting equipment
How do we know funds from Measure T would be spent responsibly?
Measure T would require fiscal accountability protections, including:
- Currently, nearly all of the sales tax generated locally goes to the State or the County – all money raised by Measure T would stay in Redlands to address local needs
- By law, no funds could be taken away by the State
- A clear system of accountability would be required, including independent citizens’ oversight and annual audits
- Groceries, prescription medicine and other essential items would be excluded from the Measure T
How much would Measure T cost?
Measure T is a one-cent sales tax that would generate approximately $10 million in local funding for Redlands public safety, local infrastructure and city services. For example, a one-cent increase would add one dollar to a $100 purchase.
How long will Measure T last?
Measure T will last until ended by voters.
Do sales tax measures affect essential purchases like groceries and prescription medicine?
No. By law, essential purchases like these are exempt from sales tax.
Who would pay for Measure T?
Measure T would not be a tax on property, meaning both local residents and out-of-town visitors would pay sales tax on purchases. Measure T would help ensure out-of-town visitors pay their fair share when they shop in our community.
Now that Measure T has been approved, how does Redlands’ sales tax rate compare to nearby cities?
San Bernardino County cities have sales tax rates ranging between 7.75% and 8.75%. The current sales tax rate in Redlands is 7.75%, which is the lowest possible tax rate in San Bernardino County. If Measure T is approved, a one-cent increase would bring the sales tax up to 8.75%, the same rate as Murrieta, San Bernardino, Riverside, Yucca Valley, Temecula and Barstow.
Additionally, many neighboring cities are considering increasing their local sales tax rate to maintain city services amidst budget deficits.
At what level of support did Measure T pass?
Measure T needed a 50%+1 majority vote in order to pass. All registered voters living in the City of Redlands would be eligible to vote on Measure T. The final outcome of the election showed that 57.35% of voters voted in favor of Measure T.
How can I register to vote or learn more about voting?
You can register to vote at www.registertovote.ca.gov. To find out more about voting in the November 3, 2020 election, please contact the Redlands City Clerk at 909-798-7531.
How can I learn more or provide feedback?