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Isla Vista self governance, utility tax measures set for the November ballot

Flickr member Ryosuke Yagi
Isla Vista's student-dominated community will be asked in November whether to approve an 8 percent utility tax and to form a Community Services Distirct.

Voters in Isla Vista will have a choice this November on whether they'd like to form their own local government. 

The Santa Barbara Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) analyzed the plan recently and voted in favor of it this past week. The move now sends the issue to the ballot as three separate items.

First, voters would need to choose whether to form a Community Services District. Next, the tax to pay for it. And finally, the selection of candidates for the Board of Directors to run it.

Under California state law, the tax portion will require a two-thirds vote in favor in order for it to pass.

Central Coast Assemblymember Das Williams wrote the legislation behind this plan in reaction to a growing concern for safety in Isla Vista. He told KCBX on Friday that it started out controversial because the plan was taking a different path than expected, but he's now noticing a ground swell of support.

"Things are improving in Isla Vista, but people are very certain that one of the best ways to make that sustainable is to make sure that Isla Vistans have the power to tax themselves for their own public safety needs," said Williams.

Having the tax funding attached to utilities, ensures that the majority of those voting on the measure will be the ones paying the bill, according to Williams.

Among the services to be included are tenant mediation, additional lighting and sidewalks, and a parking district.