Tuesday, August 14 , 2018, 7:31 pm | Fair 74º


Local News

Isla Vista Community Services District Trying Again to Pass Utility-User Tax

The Isla Vista Community Services District will try again for its utility-user tax measure on the June ballot, asking voters to approve funding for local infrastructure projects and programs. 

Voters previously approved forming the district itself and board of directors, but the district will be dissolved if residents do not approve a funding mechanism by 2023.

The Isla Vista Community Services District announced Monday that its seven-member board voted 6-0 to place the measure, which they are calling the Improved Isla Vista and Infrastructure Funding Plan, on the June 5 ballot.

(Board member George Thurlow, a UCSB assistant vice chancellor, recused himself from the discussion and vote.)

If approved by two-thirds of district voters, the measure would create an 8-percent utility-user tax for gas, electricity, water, trash and sewer services, said Jonathan Abboud, interim general manager for the IVCSD. 

The estimated $642,000 in annual revenue would be spent upgrading “parking, public safety, lighting, sidewalks, tenant mediation services, graffiti removal, public art, and the operation of community facilities and events,” according to Abboud.

The ballot measure includes the possibility of exemptions or lower rates, such as for low-income or commercial utility users.

If passed, the funding will allow the Isla Vista community to “embark on a path toward truly transformative change, and fulfill the desire for increased local control,” IVCSD Board secretary Spencer Brandt said in a statement. 

The IVCSD does not have a permanent, dedicated funding source and this ballot measure will be its second attempt to pass a utility user tax to fund its operations, after a similar measure failed in November 2016. 

That year, residents voted overwhelmingly for partial self-governance by passing Measure E — the creation of a community services district — with 87.3 percent approval.

The utility user tax, Measure F, garnered 61.2 percent of the vote which fell short of the necessary two-thirds approval. 

The Board of Directors includes five members elected by Isla Vista voters, one appointed by the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors, and one appointed by UC Santa Barbara Chancellor Henry Yang. 

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through Stripe below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >