Public submits nearly five dozen Measure J fund requests; Commission to begin narrowing projects

From simple sidewalk repairs to major building renovations, Palm Springs residents have dozens of proposals for spending tax dollars in the coming year collected through a measure first implemented a decade ago.

The tax, approved via Measure J in 2011, allows the city to collect one cent for every dollar spent here, with the exception of food purchased as groceries or prescription medications. It also allows for city residents to submit ideas for spending the money. Nearly 60 of those ideas, solicited during the past few months, will begin to be considered by the city’s Measure J Oversight Commission Thursday evening.

Most of the public requests that were submitted asked for repairs, upgrades, or additions to streets, sidewalks, and lighting in the city. Other requests included:

  • A bike rack/art piece that spells out “Palm Springs,” and four solar electric bike charging stations at the Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce.
  • A COVID-19 memorial.
  • Permanent outdoor ping pong tables scattered throughout city parks and public places.
  • Internet installation for The Palm Springs Woman’s Club.
  • A new dog park at Ranch Club Estates, upgrades to the Demuth Park dog park, and shading at the city’s animal shelter.
  • Installation of a skate plaza (a park for skateboarding, BMX biking and other extreme sports) at James O. Jessie Desert Highland Unity Center.
  • A community meeting room that, among other uses, can be a collaborative workspace for making, learning, exploring, and sharing that uses high tech to no tech tools.
  • A banquet room for the Tahquitz Creek Golf Resort.

Combined, the requests would require roughly $22.5 million in funding, ranging from an estimated $1,500 for the ping pong tables to $12 million to refurbish the Plaza Theatre in Downtown Palm Springs. Only $1 million is typically made available for projects proposed by the public.

Since its inception, the Measure J tax has contributed to more than 100 projects in the city, including remodels of the Palm Springs High School auditorium and the city’s police station, repairs to fire stations, a new gym floor at the James O. Jesse Desert Highland Unity Center, and restoration of the Cornelia White House.

Last year, in addition to road repairs, the tax provided roughly $3.4 million for five projects, including help in purchasing Oswit Canyon (a public project) and police body cameras.


To participate: The Measure J Oversight Commission meets Thursday at 5:30 PM via Zoom. Details on tuning in to the meeting or participating can be found here.

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