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May 16, 2006 > Measure A Sales Tax

Measure A Sales Tax

by Judy King

County of Santa Clara Measure A proposes the enactment of a one-half of one percent retail transaction and use (sales) tax for general county purposes. The tax will be imposed for a 30-year period beginning on Oct. 1, 2006 and ending on Sept. 30, 2036. Revenues from this tax will be placed into the County General Fund and will be available for any and all general county purposes such as: hospital and clinics; trauma and emergency services; affordable homes for families and seniors; health insurance for uninsured children; prevention programs for at-risk youth; families and seniors services; proposed transportation improvements; and services for abused and neglected children. A Citizens Oversight Committee would ensure fiscal accountability by reviewing the Annual Audit.

An Impartial Analysis by County Counsel states, "The one-half cent sales tax would be a general tax. California Government Code, section 53721 defines a general tax as one 'imposed for general government purposes.'

The measure contains two mandatory restrictions:
A Citizens Oversight Committee will be created to review the County Audit.

The tax must expire in 30 years. Thereafter, the authority to collect the tax ceases.

Argument for Measure A
Measure A, if voted in, would generate critically-needed local funds for high-priority local needs in:  Healthcare, transportation, trauma emergency services, local employers, workers, seniors and disabled efficient transit services, for 1,000 SCC children's health care, streets countywide, freeways pothole repair, and other improvements.

Argument against Measure A
Raising the sales tax is bad for families and burdens those with low income. This tax will cost over 8.4 billion dollars and is not about County services and will make it more expensive for businesses to expand, driving jobs away. This is not about County services; County revenues are nearly four times what they were a decade ago.


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