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El Cerrito Police Department
Thursday February 15th, 2018 :: 02:42 p.m. PST


El Cerrito City Council Considers Charter City Status:

City Council Considers Charter City Status:

The El Cerrito City Council is in the process of exploring becoming a Charter City. The Charter Committee was established November 7, 2017. The Committee consists of two members of the City Council, a member of the Financial Advisory Board, an active participant in the El Cerrito real estate community, a representative of local labor groups, and two members of the public.

Currently, El Cerrito is what is known as a General Law city. A city may only become a Charter City with voter approval. In our area, local charter cities include Albany, Emeryville, Berkeley, Richmond, Oakland, Alameda, Piedmont, San Francisco, San Leandro and San Rafael. A Charter City allows for more options for funding local operations or capital projects. Potentially, the biggest impact for El Cerrito would be the revenue associated with the implementation of a Real Property Transfer Tax (RPTT). A RPTT is a tax that is only paid upon the sale of property, and is traditionally split between the buyer and seller. Charter cities may adopt—with voter approval—a Real Property Transfer Tax at any rate, unlike a General Law city which may only split a “Documentary Transfer Tax” with the county (each receives 55¢ for each $500 of the purchase price of real property).

The Charter Review Committee will work with City staff to help develop a Charter that would include language that would give the City the power to adopt local rules in all matters of municipal affairs, require the City to follow California law regarding the payment of prevailing wages for public works projects and collective bargaining with represented employee groups, authorize the City Council to consider the use of all available tools for generating revenue, including but not limited to a Real Property Transfer Tax, and that does not alter the current City Municipal Code. The Committee will recommend the draft Charter to the City Council in April. The City Council would then hold public hearings on the Charter, and would then consider putting the Charter on the ballot in November 2018. The Charter Committee will be meeting at City Hall on the following dates:
Monday, February 12 – 7:00 pm
Monday, February 26 – 7:00 pm
Saturday, March 10 – 9:00 am
Thursday, March 22 – 7:00 pm
Monday, April 2 – 7:00 pm
Saturday, April 7 – 10:00 am (tentative)

El Cerrito Police Department
10900 San Pablo Ave
El Cerrito, CA 94530

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 510-237-3233

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