Today: Supes may vote on sales tax measure

San Mateo County tax would be 8.75 percent if voters approve the measure

The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors may decide on Tuesday, July 24, whether to place on the Nov. 6 ballot a measure that would increase the sales tax rate in the county by 0.50 percentage points for 10 years.

The meeting starts at 9 a.m. at 400 County Center in Redwood City.

The proposed ordinance would raise the sales tax in the county to 8.75 percent from 8.25 percent.

(State Proposition 30 on the Nov. 6 ballot would increase the state-wide sales tax by 0.25 percentage points. If voters approve both measures, the sales tax rate in San Mateo County would be 9 percent.)

After the failure of two county tax increases in the June election -- only a tax on car rentals passed, by a bare 197 votes -- the Board of Supervisors finds itself confronting the same budget deficit with fewer options.

The county sales tax increase is projected to add about $60 million a year to the county's general fund, according to a memo from supervisors Adrienne Tissier and Don Horsley. The county would get all the money from the tax increase minus state administration fees.

Mr. Horsley said he would support the increase even if all three tax measures had passed in June. "If you look back on my campaign for the Board, I said that I supported an extension of the State's 1 percent sales tax that expired in June of 2011. That is no longer possible but the proposal that Supervisor Tissier and I are sponsoring is the right thing to do to maintain County services."

The board would get to decide how to spend the money since the tax goes into the general fund. The memo suggests possibly assisting county hospitals to stay in business. It lists Seton Medical Center as an example; the 357-bed Daly City facility must complete seismic safety improvements by 2020 to remain open. The memo states Seton handles 19 percent of admissions and 34 percent of doctor visits of people who are on the county's health plan, some of whom are on Medi-Cal.

"There is significant concern about other providers' capacity and ability to fill Seton's role in promoting the health of the community if Seton were to close," the memo said.


Like this comment
Posted by Martin Engel
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Jul 20, 2012 at 12:54 pm

I no longer have any confidence in how our elected officials spend our tax dollars.

Sales taxes are regressive and hurt lower income people far more than upper income people.

The Governor is eager to level additional sales taxes on us. Now, our County Supervisors wish to do the same.

With all due respect, Ms. Tissier, a Caltrain/HSR official and advocate, is not to be trusted with our tax dollars. Sorry.

No additional sales taxes, period.

Like this comment
Posted by Scholar
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jul 20, 2012 at 1:41 pm

Old saying: "There is no such thing as a temporary tax."

Like this comment
Posted by steve
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jul 20, 2012 at 3:06 pm

What part of no didn't you understand in June. No increase in taxes. Seaton Medical Center, I don't think so.

Like this comment
Posted by Bob
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jul 20, 2012 at 4:10 pm

"Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

Albert Einstein

We obvious have really intelligent elected officials -- MP city council wants to raise the hotel tax when the county voted it down in June; the Board of Supervisors want to raise the sales tax to add to the general fund when the county voted down tax increases in June; and the legislature and governor want to raise taxes to fund HSR when other viable programs are cut and the state is going broke.

In a word -- NO!

Like this comment
Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Jul 20, 2012 at 6:23 pm

These are the supervisors who recently gave the Sheriff's Officers a 3% raise when others were asked to take a pay cut. When asked how will SMC be able to pay for this Don Horsley said " I don't know, we will have to worry about that when the time comes. This same group has just approved a Jail that they don't know or care about how are we going to afford to pay for it. They also just approve a raise for an employee who was just hired. They are not very good with the Taxpayers money.

NO on new taxes

Like this comment
Posted by Bob
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jul 23, 2012 at 7:16 am

It's not just our area; the Sacramento area has the same issues Web Link.

Seems now-a-days every level of government wants more and more of your money. What kind of government system is that called again? I think there are a few countries in Europe like that.

Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 23, 2012 at 7:37 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

" the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors finds itself confronting the same budget deficit with fewer options."

There is only ONE option - cut expenditures!!

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