Sunday, May 18, 2008

Taxes on ballots around Bay Area


San Mateo County electors are being asked if they desire to tramp their gross sales taxation by one-eighth of a cent to raise about $16 million annually for parks, one of a series of taxation measurements facing electors across the Bay Area on June 3.

Orinda occupants will make up one's mind whether to add $12 a twelvemonth to a package taxation to replace books and keep current operating hours at the local library. Half Moon Bay electors will be asked to increase the hotel invitee taxation to 12 percentage from 10 percentage to assist the metropolis ascent out of a fiscal hole that deepened when it lost a legal fighting with a developer.

The most far-reaching tax, San Mateo County's Measurement O, may sound familiar to voters. It would raise the gross sales taxation to 8.375 percentage from 8.25 percentage to fund city, county and particular territory Parks - a proposal nearly indistinguishable to one that failing in November 2006.

That measurement received 55 percentage of the ballot but needed two-thirds to pass. Backers state it might have got attracted more than support had it not been obscured by respective high-profile races on the ballot.

The new measurement would raise the gross sales taxation for 25 old age starting in October. The money would be divided between the county, 20 metropolises and three particular districts.

Those physical things could pass the finances only on Parks and diversion projects, such as as repairing playgrounds, maintaining baths or preserving unfastened space. Local authorities could not cut their parkland budgets and usage money from the taxation addition to do up the difference. $16 million a year

The addition would bring forth about $16 million a year, with 42 percentage going to the county, 52 percentage being split among the metropolises and 6 percentage divided among the Mid-Peninsula Regional Open Space District, the Highlands Diversion District and the Ladera Diversion District.

"What we're trying to make is supply local support that volition stay in the county and support our local parks," said Julia Bott, executive manager director of the non-profit-making San Mateo County Rosa Parks and Diversion Foundation, which came up with the measure. "We're trying to acquire out of the dance where we're always asking, 'Well, what's happening with the state and federal budgets?' "

Measure Type O is backed by Peninsula political heavyweights including Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Hillsborough, Board of Supervisors President Adrienne Tissier and former Sheriff Don Horsley. A figure of Libertarians and others who routinely name for leaner authorities are against it, saying gross sales taxations hit mediocre people disproportionately difficult and that the measurement is poorly timed, given the economical downturn.

"Why should we taxation the mediocre to pay affluent San Mateo County?" said Don Pettengill, an anti-tax activist. $12 more than for package tax

Backers counter that the proposal will be occupants less than $2 a calendar month on average.

"Really, it's just pennies on purchases," Bott said. "But there's no inquiry the two-thirds blessing required is a immense obstacle."

The package taxation on Orinda's ballot to keep library service will also necessitate a two-thirds ballot to pass.

Measure Vitamin E would renew and addition a $27-per-parcel taxation that electors approved in 2001 to spread out the library's services. The 2001 measurement provided support so the library could be unfastened 60 hours a week, rather than the 35 hours that Contra Costa County funds.

That taxation is put to run out in July 2009. Measurement Vitamin E would raise it to $39 with no sundown provision.

If the taxation is not renewed, the metropolis will have got got to cut library hours and won't have money to replace obsolete stuffs or monetary fund programmes for children and senior citizens, angels of Measurement Vitamin E say.

Clyde Vaughn, a regular critic of local authorities spending, opposes the taxation increase, pointing out that it would be imposed during an economical slack and last indefinitely. Union City package tax

In Union City, electors must make up one's mind whether to widen a package taxation that finances public safety services.

Measurement Kelvin would widen the tax, now put to run out in March 2009, for 20 old age and addition it to fund police force and fire trading operations and young person force bar programs.

The addition would change depending on the type of property. The original upper limit charge per unit for a single-family residential package had been $138 a twelvemonth and would increase to $261. Future charge per unit additions would be capped at 3 percentage a year.

There is no organized opposition. Two-thirds blessing is required.

Half Moon Bay had budget jobs even before a federal justice in November awarded about $40 million - four modern times the city's yearly budget - to a developer who had sued the city. Now it is seeking to assist balance its budget with money from hotel guests.

City functionaries desire to hike the hotel taxation to 12 percentage with Measurement Q. The measurement necessitates only a simple bulk because the metropolis declared a financial exigency after losing the lawsuit.

The metropolis settled with the developer in April, but that may still ensue in an $18 million payout.

Backers state Measurement Q is necessary for basic metropolis services such as as libraries, police force and street maintenance.

"We are running at a just barely, barely balanced budget right now," Mayor Bonnie McClung said. "If you don't acquire your grosses and outgoes in line, eventually that catches up with you."

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