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May 14, 2020

Community Update

by Tami Scott, Administrative Services Director

Since 2000, Cathedral City’s population has grown by 20% -- to more than 53,000 residents. As a result, demand for services has increased dramatically, e.g., a 33% increase in the number of 9-1-1 emergency calls. With the effects of the economic recession that started in the 2006-2007 timeframe, it was necessary to secure a means of stable funding to supplement our City to meet the demands of a rapidly growing population. In November 2008, the citizens of Cathedral City voted to tax themselves in the way of a three percent (3%) Utility Users Tax (UUT), which is included on utility bills for gas, electricity, telecommunications, cable (video), and solid waste removal. As a result, the UUT has brought in more than $2.7 million/year in necessary local revenue to protect/preserve essential Cathedral City services including: police officers, firefighters, paramedics; 911 response times; crime, gang and drug prevention programs; fixing potholes and streets; improving graffiti removal, street sweeping, code enforcement, street medians and open space; funding youth and senior services; and preserving other general City services.  All funds raised by this tax are legally required to be spent in our City -- ensuring local control of this revenue. The UUT provides a guaranteed source of funding for vital City services and cannot be taken away by the State of California.

There is a tax exemption for Cathedral City residents for low-income seniors who are 65 years old or over and who are on the California Alternative Rates for Energy (CARE) Program. For those seniors meeting these criteria, here’s how it works:

  1. If you are not on the CARE program and are 65 or over and your level of income would qualify you for the CARE program:
    1. Contact Southern California Edison for an application. The City of Cathedral City is not involved in the CARE program eligibility process.

    2. You can find information on the CARE program online at https://www.sce.com/wps/portal/home/residential/assistance/care-fera/capitation or by calling 866-675-6623.
    3. You can find CARE information online for income limits for household size at http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/General.aspx?id=976
    4. When you receive an electric bill showing that you are participating in the CARE program, follow the instructions below.
  2. If you are 65 or over and are already on the CARE program:
    1. Log on to the city’s website at www.cathedralcity.gov (Note - If you do not have access to a computer, you may obtain an application at the reception desk at City Hall, or call (760) 770-0359 and request an application be mailed to your home.
    2. Click the “Utility Users Tax” button on the left side of the home page.
    3. Then click UUT Exemption to download a copy of the exemption form.
    4. Complete the application and attach
      1. proof of age, e.g., driver’s license, and
      2. a copy of your current electric bill showing:
        1. the page that shows your name and account number, and
        2. the other page that indicates you are currently enrolled in the CARE program.
    5. Send your application and a copy of all utility bills that are covered by the UUT [i.e., electric, gas, cable, telephone (including cell phone, and/or trash to: 

City of Cathedral City
Attn: Finance Department - UUT
68700 Avenida Lalo Guerrero
Cathedral City, CA 92234

Be sure the copies you submit include the pages that list your name and account number.

Please be aware that the City cannot notify utility providers that you are exempt if you are not paying them directly for your utility service.  This is the case for those utilities that you pay to either a Mobile Home Park (MHP), or to a Home Owners Association (HOA). However, if you are qualified for an exemption, you will be able to apply for an annual refund from the City for all UUT you may have paid during the previous calendar year.  Refund applications will be accepted at City Hall during the period of January 1 through March 31 for the preceding calendar year only.  Refund applications must be submitted with proof of all UUT paid by you to the MHP or HOA, which would be detailed on your monthly statements or an annual statement if provided by them.

NEWS

COVID-19 Information

COVID-19 Information

Get the latest on Coronavirus Disease 2019

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Cathedral City Library to Offer Free COVID-19 Testing

Cathedral City Library to Offer Free COVID-19 Testing

Beginning Monday, May 18, residents can call (800) 945-6171 to schedule an appointment to be tested for COVID-19 at the Cathedral City Library, 33520 Date Palm Drive in Cathedral City.  The free testing will be for walk-up appointments made at least one day in advance and upon availability.   Upon arrival, staff will confirm the patient information and complete the …Read more.

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City Council Unanimously Votes to Prohibit Short-Term Lodging Facilities Until June 19th

City Council Unanimously Votes to Prohibit Short-Term Lodging Facilities Until June 19th

In an effort to stop or slow the spread of the coronavirus, the City Council voted unanimously to enact Emergency Order 2C which forbids the marketing, rental or lease of short-term lodging facilities through June 19, 2020 except for items listed in Sections 3 and 5.  This new order mainly forbids short-term vacation rentals from renting or leasing properties to …Read more.

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City Council Votes to Mandate the Use of Face Coverings and Social Distancing Until June 19

City Council Votes to Mandate the Use of Face Coverings and Social Distancing Until June 19

In an effort to stop or slow the spread of the Coronavirus, the City Council voted 4 to 1 on Emergency Order Number 3 to mandate the use of face coverings, effective immediately, while in public including all essential workers with the following exceptions: When at home Driving alone in the car or with members of their household Children under …Read more.

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Fire Chief Paul Wilson Announces His Retirement

Fire Chief Paul Wilson Announces His Retirement

Watch the following video as Mayor Pro Tem Raymond Gregory interviews Fire Chief Paul Wilson regarding his retirement announcement, his future plans, and the many departmental improvements achieved during his tenure.  You will also get to see a portion of a never seen video that was filmed for the postponed State of the City that will surely give you a …Read more.

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Kids’ Art Project Available Now that Says “Thank You” to Frontline Workers

Kids’ Art Project Available Now that Says “Thank You” to Frontline Workers

S.C.R.A.P. Gallery is offering a free kids’ art project that utilizes recycled materials to send a special “thank you” to frontline workers such as healthcare, food, and grocery store workers.  Entitled, “All Over the Map,” children will use paint, poetry, notes, postcards, rubber stamps, etc. to make these special messages.   The entries will be exhibited online and delivered to …Read more.

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Additional Categories of Stage 2 Businesses Can Open, Others Once Counties Certify Compliance

Additional Categories of Stage 2 Businesses Can Open, Others Once Counties Certify Compliance

Governor Newsom announced that additional categories of Stage 2 businesses (office workspaces, outdoor museums, and car washes) can open in California.  The governor will allow dine-in restaurants to open that can abide by the following state guidelines (https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-dine-in-restaurants.pdf) and their protocols have been certified by the county public health authorities.  Riverside County will soon submit their plan to begin this …Read more.

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Sign Up Now for the “Great Plates Delivered: Home Meals for Seniors”

Sign Up Now for the “Great Plates Delivered: Home Meals for Seniors”

As part of the CARES Act passed by Congress, a new meal program is being implemented right now for Cathedral City and throughout Riverside County for seniors making less than $74,940 who need meals delivered to their homes from local restaurants in order to avoid being stricken by the coronavirus.  The program provides up to $66 per day, seven days …Read more.

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Business Owners, Independent Contractors, 1099 Tax Filers Can Apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

Business Owners, Independent Contractors, 1099 Tax Filers Can Apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

Watch the following video hosted by CCTV’s Conrad Angel Corral and Cathedral City’s Economic Development Director Stone James as they discuss a recently implemented unemployment assistance program for business owners, independent contractors, gig workers, and those who receive 1099 tax forms.  Similar to employees receiving unemployment insurance if laid off, the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program offers similar benefits to those …Read more.

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Riverside County Board of Supervisors Rescinds COVID-19 Orders - Reverts to State Orders

Riverside County Board of Supervisors Rescinds COVID-19 Orders - Reverts to State Orders

The Riverside County Board of Supervisors voted 5 to 0 to rescind most of its local orders and revert to the state orders by Governor Newsom.  They also plan to release their own reopening plan for businesses when it meets this Tuesday.  Here is their media release: Download Media Release Although Riverside County rescinded Short-Term Vacation Rental orders, the City …Read more.

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EVENTS

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Cathedral City Postpones Special Events Until Further Notice

Cathedral City Postpones Special Events Until Further Notice

The Governor has issued a Stay at Home Order and the Riverside County Public Health Officer has issued social distancing orders through June 19, 2020.  The City of Cathedral City will suspend all special events until further notice.  Read more.

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For Questions or Comments, Contact Chris Parman, Communications and Events Manager
cparman@cathedralcity.gov