Andrea M. Baldrias
Moreno Valley City Council approved the placement of local ballot Measure M on the November 6 ballot to generate revenue for public safety and to provide quality of life services including safe neighborhoods and parks, programs for children, youth, and seniors, as well as road maintenance.
The City is asking voters to consider this ordinance that would tax commercial cannabis establishments. The tax would apply to both medical and non-medical businesses. If approved, legalization and land use regulation of commercial cannabis businesses would not be affected. Measure M is projected to generate approximately $2.2 million annually for public services in the city.
According to the Moreno Valley City Website, “In the past 10 years the City of Moreno Valley has lost nearly $50 million. This has significantly affected the City’s ability to deliver these vital services.”
Measure M would enact a tax on cannabis sales and cultivation not to exceed eight percent of gross sales and $15 per square foot of cultivation regardless of whether the cultivator has utilized the entire zone under his/her license. The city’s residents and homeowners of Moreno Valley will not be taxed—only the commercial cannabis industry pays under Measure M.
Measure M will help maintain public priorities which include 9-1-1 emergency response times, supporting robbery and burglary prevention programs, repairing local streets and roads including potholes, enriching recreation and youth programs, and maintaining safe and clean public areas. These priorities were surveyed by city officials during a community engagement process that occurred over the course of several months.
If passed, Measure M will be managed in two ways. The first is accountability, which would mean annual independent financial audits and public reviews to ensure that all funds are used locally. The second is focused on guaranteeing the funds will not be taken by the state—revenue generated by this measure will be reserved for use in Moreno Valley, only. If approved by voters, the tax would become effective 10 days after election results are verified.
To learn more about Measure M, visit the city’s website at: www.moval.org/MeasureM. If you have specific questions, please contact the city at: (951) 413-3021 or firstname.lastname@example.org.