Election - November 6, 2012
San Mateo County



Measure J:
Half Moon Bay Transaction (Sales) & Use Tax :
1/2 percent



SVTA recommends a NO vote against Measure J.



Summary of Measure J:

To provide funding only for the City of Half Moon Bay that can be used to enhance our Library, increase street maintenance, improve senior services, invest in business development and tourism, improve Smith Field recreational facilities, help fund the new Main Street bridge and improve other general city services, shall the City of Half Moon Bay pass a temporary half-cent general sales tax that will expire after 3 years, with citizens’ oversight?


You may read the Full Text and Impartial Analysis of the measure at the web site of the San Mateo County Elections Office, here.


 Argument in Favor of Measure J
  Argument Against Measure J

Measure J is a proposed one half cent sales tax for 3 years that will be used to support only Half Moon Bay. The suggested one half cent sales tax, with a limited duration of 3 years, will primarily be used for capital projects like replacing the seismically unsafe Main Street Bridge, maintaining city streets which are badly in need of repair, enhancing youth athletic facilities at Smith Field and supporting business development. All spending related to Measure J revenues will be conducted in budget sessions that are open to the public. The City has already reduced costs significantly to stabilize operating finances, but still has an estimated short fall for capital improvements of approximately $1,000,000 annually. Examples of cost savings initiatives that the City has successfully implemented are:

• Contracting with San Mateo County Sheriff’s Department: $800,000/yearly savings

• Contracting recreation services with City of San Carlos:$190,000/yearly savings

• Staff concessions and furloughs: $150,000 in savings

• Miscellaneous budget saving measures: $200,000 in savings

The need is critical. The City extended street repairs out seven years, but considering the condition of our streets, seven years will only perpetuate streets in their current poor condition. The City’s contribution to replace the seismically unsafe Main Street Bridge is estimated at approximately $600,000. And, the City needs funds to survey our sewer system and replace sections before they fail. Measure J is projected to generate approximately $870,000 per year, of which a substantial portion will come from visitors to our community. Measure J also has broad based support from across the local business community.

The City will create an Independent Citizen’s Oversight Committee and will publish annual financial audits.

Half Moon Bay is moving in a positive direction. Help us continue our progress forward.

Please support our community and vote YES on Measure J.

Allan Alifano, Mayor-City of HMB

Rick Kowalczyk ,Vice Mayor, City of Half Moon Bay

Jeanne L. Barber,Owner/Half Moon Bay Inn

Peter Welch, Owner/Arrowhead Framing

Mel Mello Jr, Officer I.D.E.S.

The state, San Mateo County, and HMB all want to increase your sales tax at the same time!

California’s high unemployment is no accident. A recent nationwide study revealed that the probability that the sales tax increases unemployment is extraordinarily high. The best estimate is that California’s high sales tax accounts for 20% of the state’s unemployment.

If this measure passes, all HMB residents will pay more when they buy a new or used car – no matter where it’s purchased.

The City has $11.1 million in revenue to support current operations, including two recently added positions. Tax revenues are on the rise. With many departments now contracted out, the City is fully staffed for operations.

The City Council claims it lacks funding for some capital projects. However…

A close look at the City’s 2012-13 budget reveals that over $3.2 million of the general fund “expenditures” are one-time transfers that don’t represent ongoing operations. And the City’s revenue estimates are low.

The City definitely has a multi-million dollar structural operating surplus!

The City receives millions annually in grants for roads and bridges and receives gas tax funds. The operating surplus can also be used for capital projects.

Due to the Beachwood judgment, the City has filed a claim for $5,000,000 against an insurance company, which is in arbitration. The City received the full $5,000,000 from a similar claim against ABAG.

The City has millions in both restricted and unrestricted cash reserves.

Before an election, the City Council talks about popular capital projects, but look at their record. They recently spent $450,000 on a redundant EOC facility that isn’t needed. We still don’t know how it will be used.

We don’t need a new tax and we don’t need higher unemployment.

Vote NO on this tax increase!

George Gipe, HMB resident

David R. Worden, HMB Resident & Business Owner

Freda Jeffs, HMB resident

Joe Milner, HMB Resident

 

Rebuttal to
Argument in Favor of Measure J

 

Rebuttal to
Argument Against Measure J

 

Half Moon Bay City Council and staff complain of a “shortfall for capital improvements”. Yet, according to the 2012-13 budget,the city’s projected 06-30-2013 General Fund balance is almost$14,000,000 with almost $5,000,000 in cash. For all funds, thecity’s projected 06-30-2013 cash balance is over $17,000,000.

The City has a multi-million dollar operating surplus. And these numbers are conservative. In 2010-11, General Fund revenue was underestimated by over a million dollars.

Some “shortfall”

If all three sales tax measures on this ballot pass, the Half Moon Bay sales tax rate will rocket to 9.5%.

Sales taxes are regressive, and hurt the poor!

In 1960, the sales tax rate was only 3%. Raising sales tax rates sure didn’t fix California’s budget problems, and it isn’t the answer for Half Moon Bay either. The Council and staff could spend this sales tax money on anything they like - including low priority or unneeded projects, as in the past.

California reduced its sales tax rate by one point on 07-01-2011. After twelve months, the unemployment rate for the state, County, and Half Moon Bay all fell by almost a full percentage point, according to the Employment Development Department.

Lower sales taxes help foster lower unemployment!

Higher sales taxes cause higher unemployment and hurt local businesses and local jobs.

The City of Half Moon Bay doesn’t need to burden the community with this tax increase to provide services its citizens want and deserve. In these hard times, we simply can’t afford to give the city “play money”.

Vote No on Measure J

George Gipe, HMB resident

David R. Worden, Independent Business Owner

Freda Jeffs, HMB resident

Don Pettengill, Half Moon Bay Resident

Gayle Wainwright, HMB Home Owner
 

Measure J is a proposed one-half cent sales tax for 3 years that will be used to support only the needs of Half Moon Bay. The Argument Against Measure J is simply incorrect. The funds generated by Measure J are essential to Half Moon Bay.

FACT: Our operating budget is balanced, which allows us to maintain the basic functions of the city and cover daily expenses.

FACT: Our capital budget is significantly under-funded, which prevents us from performing much needed maintenance and special projects. We are not able to effectively maintain city streets and sewers or pay for projects like the replacement of the seismically unsafe Main Street Bridge.

FACT: Our City has no hidden funds. We don’t have a “structural surplus”. We do have a $3 million RESTRICTED RESERVE that we are required to maintain by our bond holders. This money could only be accessed in the case of an extreme emergency. The Council is committed to providing conservative and responsible financial direction for our City. This has been demonstrated with the financial decisions that have resulted in a balanced operating budget.

• Our short term financial goal is to provide funding for our most critical capital projects through Measure J.

• Our long term financial goal is to pay off our bonds and remove our $1.2 million/year payment.

When our community is voting this November, we need to focus on the critical needs of our City. Only Half Moon Bay can help Half Moon Bay.

Please support our community and vote YES on Measure J.

Allan Alifano, Mayor – City of Half Moon Bay

Rick Kowalczyk, Vice Mayor – City of Half Moon Bay

Charles Nelson, Business Owner

Betsy del Fierro, Owner, It’s Italia

Kim Levin

 



Paid for by the Silicon Valley Taxpayers Association PAC.

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