News

County sales tax measure will be on November ballot

Measure would add 20 years to remaining six years of the existing tax

San Mateo County's Board of Supervisors unanimously voted on Tuesday, July 26, to place a measure on the Nov. 8 ballot that would add 20 years to the remaining six years of a half-cent sales tax approved by the county's voters in 2012.

The tax is considered a general tax because it can be spent on any county expenses, and needs approval by a simple majority, at least one more than 50 percent of those who vote.

The supervisors say they hope the tax will be able to help the county fund projects that would increase the supply of affordable housing.

Supervisor Don Horsley said the sales tax funds have so far been "transformational," funding projects such as student literacy, transit for those with disabilities, a response to sea level rise, health care for farm laborers, paying down the county's retirement liabilities and improvements in police and fire dispatch facilities.

The sales tax money has allowed the county "to do so many things that we otherwise would not have been able to do," he said.

Other supervisors said the sales tax money has been used for enhancing parks and libraries and providing mental health services for students.

Board President Warren Slocum said extending the tax "provides a predictable revenue stream for San Mateo County" so it can continue to fund the types of projects that the tax has so far been used for.

The sales tax extension was not the funding source the supervisors had initially wanted. They had discussed putting a $500 million housing bond measure on the ballot, and the possibility of an additional sales tax.

But initial polling said the $500 million bond measure wouldn't gain the two-thirds majority vote needed for passage. Research also showed that a new sales tax isn't possible because the county's sales tax rate is already the maximum allowed by the state.

A pollster hired by the county found that even a smaller bond measure had little chance of passage. Polling showed that the sales tax extension, by contrast, received much more support than it needed to pass.

See the board meeting agenda and staff reports on the county's website.

The county has a webpage devoted to the current sales tax.

Related stories: ● Supervisors move toward sales tax ballot measure.

● County attempts to take on housing crisis.

Comments

9 people like this
Posted by Janet
a resident of Menlo Park: Stanford Weekend Acres
on Jul 27, 2016 at 12:47 pm

Measure A funds were supposed to be spent on essentials. Instead they have been used e.g. for 14 hand driers in the County restrooms, grossly ugly "art" in NFO and padding the pension fund. There are so many ways that the county wastes money. A blatant example is John Maltbie's obscene salary + pension for doing nothing.


9 people like this
Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Jul 27, 2016 at 1:47 pm

Michael G. Stogner is a registered user.

San Mateo County Residents were lied to by our leaders 4 years ago according to the SMC Grand Jury.
They said we would lose critical services if we didn't pass it, They said we had a deficit the voters approved it.
Now just 4 years into a 10 year tax and they put it on the ballot so 50% plus one vote passes.
The residents of SMC did not ask for this.
Web Link


10 people like this
Posted by Srini
a resident of another community
on Jul 27, 2016 at 2:15 pm

Janet and Michael, you are both correct, and the "powers to be" knew 4 years ago that this would be their plan of attack. We need to push back, then make some changes.


11 people like this
Posted by Jenson
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jul 27, 2016 at 3:07 pm

Again, similar to the Menlo park school district, the county has wasted money and spent it on projects that are not a high priority or on projects that do not represent the bigger community as a whole. We need to make these officials show us in the next 6 years that they can spend the money wisely. The county needs to be transparent in their spending. Show us you are being fiscally responsible when you spend the money. Bring back your ballot measure in 6 years and we will decide then if it's deserved. Vote no now and grade the county on their spending, make them earn a yes vote.


4 people like this
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Jul 27, 2016 at 4:18 pm

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

Michael, if you were around in 1991, the county put a 1/2 % sales tax called The Best Schools Proposal, Measure A, which needed a simple majority. I led the campaign which resulted in a resounding defeat of the measure with NO votes over 60%.

This tax, and the one in Belmont, should be defeated by more than that.

Union members are taxpayers too. They do not all follow the dictates of the union leaders. Of course the vote by mail ballot may have an influence on that.


Like this comment
Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Jul 27, 2016 at 4:18 pm

Michael G. Stogner is a registered user.

This should help the residents understand what they are up against.
1:13 mark into the video
Web Link


2 people like this
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Jul 27, 2016 at 4:45 pm

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

Make that a 72% NO vote. Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Jul 27, 2016 at 4:49 pm

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

See also:
Web Link


2 people like this
Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Jul 27, 2016 at 5:25 pm

Michael G. Stogner is a registered user.

Jack I hope you are right, Lets do it again


4 people like this
Posted by Bob
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jul 27, 2016 at 9:21 pm

I'm so glad that the government thinks residents are made out of money and taxing is the only real option to fund their projects.

Vote NO


2 people like this
Posted by Scholar
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jul 28, 2016 at 12:19 pm

Vote NO.


Like this comment
Posted by Apple
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 28, 2016 at 1:52 pm

Don't the supervisors realize the sales tax hits lower income people the hardest! Sales taxes are highly regressive. The poorer you are and the more dependents you have, the higher proportion of your income goes to the sales tax.

On the other hand, income tax, property tax, and bond repayments through property tax bills are progressive taxes. High income earners and wealthy people tend to pay a higher percentage of these taxes.

If you raise taxes on the poor, you are contributing to the affordability problem, not helping it.


2 people like this
Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Jul 30, 2016 at 7:14 am

Michael G. Stogner is a registered user.

Supervisors gave HMB $6,000,000 zero interest and repayment start date of 2019 Measure A Funds.
That is on top of County is paying for 1/2 of the total expense another $12,000,000

Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by SteveC
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jul 30, 2016 at 11:56 am

SteveC is a registered user.

It is time to vote no on the extension. Supervisors have too much of our money and the well needs to run dry.


Like this comment
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Aug 20, 2016 at 12:03 pm

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

Here are the Arguments for and against:
Web Link


2 people like this
Posted by John McDowell
a resident of another community
on Sep 24, 2016 at 1:20 pm

There is an organized effort to Stop Measure K in San Mateo county. Join us! See our website at www.stopmeasurek.org click "Endorsements", our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/StopMeasureK and click "Like", and our Twitter feed at @StopMeasureK and click "Follow". Thanks!


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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