Measure N – La Honda-Pescadero Unified School District (May 7, 2013)
Measure O – Portola Valley School District Parcel Tax (May 7, 2013)
2012 STATEWIDE: No on Calif. Prop. 30: Sales Tax Hike
2012 STATEWIDE: Yes on Proposition 32: Corporate Funding of Political Campaigns
Proposition 32 in the News
2012 STATEWIDE: No on Proposition 38: Tax to Fund Education & Early Childhood Programs (SCC)
ELECTION 2012 - November 6, San Mateo County ballot measures
Measure A - San Mateo County Sales Tax (Nov. 2012)
Measure D – Burlingame School District (Nov. 2012)
Measure E – Jefferson Union High School District (Nov. 2012)
Measure G - San Bruno Park School District $199 Parcel Tax (Nov. 2012)
Measure H – San Carlos School District (Nov. 2012)
Measure I – Jefferson Elementary School District (Nov. 2012)
Measure J – Half Moon Bay Transaction (Sales) & Use Tax (Nov. 2012)
Measure K – Menlo Park Transient Occupancy (Hotel) Tax (Nov. 6, 2012)
Measure K – Menlo Park Transient Occupancy (Hotel) Tax (Nov. 2012)
ELECTION 2012 - November 6, Santa Clara County ballot measures
Measure A - Santa Clara County Sales Tax (approx 1/2 billion dollars)
Measure A - Santa Clara County Sales Tax (approx. half a billion dollars)
Measure B - Santa Clara Valley Water District (Nov. 2012)
Measure D - San Jose Minimum Wages (Nov. 2012)
Measure G – Morgan Hill Unified School District (Nov. 2012)
Measure H – San Jose Unified School District (Nov. 2012)
Measure I – East Side Union High School District (Nov. 2012)
Measure J – Alum Rock Union Elementary School District (Nov. 2012)
Measure K - Berryessa Union School District (Nov. 2012)
Measure L – Mt. Pleasant Elementary School District (Nov. 2012)
2012 Candidate Endorsements, Santa Clara County
2012 Candidate Endorsements, San Mateo County
ELECTION 2012: June
ELECTION 2010: Results
Who We Are
Director Emeritus, Doug McNea
Disband the Sequoia Health Care District. Education First!
Open-Space Tax Ruled Illegal
Why California Is Bankrupt
SVTA press coverage - April, 2013
SVTA press release: SJ City deficit elimination bake sale on tax day - April 11, 2013
SVTA press coverage - March, 2013
SJ council votes to explore new road taxes [SJ Mercury News 3/6/13]
SC County Officials Stand By Decision to Fund Gun Buyback [Palo Alto Patch 3/5/13]
SCC judge allows Water Dist's $543 million tax, despite tech glitches [Inside Bay Area 3/4/13]
Hundreds of Weapons Collected in County Gun Buyback [Los Gatos Patch 3/3/13]
SVTA press coverage - December, 2012
School Board sues ex-superintendent over condo loan [SJ Mercury News 12/12/12]
SVTA press coverage - November, 2012
Santa Clara County voters embrace Measure A sales tax [SJ Mercury News 11/7/12]
Santa Clara County $548 million parcel tax approved [SJ Mercury News, 11/7/12]
Minimum wage hike would destroy SJ jobs [SJ Mercury News 11/5/12]
Cal reaches out to low-income high school students [ABC 7 KGO TV; 11/2/12]
SVTA press coverage - October, 2012
Voters Decide How Much to Pay [Wall Street Journal; 10/31/12]
Facing deficit, Menlo Park counts on hotel tax—before vote [Peninsula Press; 10/27/12]
Prop 32 promises campaign finance reform, but is there a catch? [Santa Cruz Good Times, 10/23/12]
Press Release: Stop tax increases & special interests’ domination of Calif. in Nov - 10/12/12]
Santa Clara County tries again for a sales tax [SJ Mercury News, 10/7/12]
SVTA press coverage - September, 2012
Water district tax proposal support by Saratoga council [Saratoga News; 9/25/12]
Voters asked to approve sales tax increase; 9/24/12
Ex-South Bay Superintendent Looks At Unloading Condo To Taxpayers [CBS-5 TV; 9/19/12]
Taxpayer group sues SCVWD over proposed parcel tax [SJ Mercury News; 9/8/12]
SVTA press coverage - August, 2012
Taxpayer group threatens to sue water district [Mountain View Voice; 8/31/12]
Hotel tax: Menlo Park challenges ballot language [The Almanac; 8/30/12]]
Not again: error found in SCVWD proposed $548 million parcel tax [SJ Mercury; 8/28/12]
SCVWD cuts idea for lifetime medical benefits for board members [SJ Mercury News; 8/28/12]
Internal Affairs: Something overlooked amid SCC counsel's leadership shuffle? [SJ Mercury; 8/26/12]
Appellate Court declines SCC taxpayers' suit to stop tax measure [SJ Mercury, 8/24/12]
SVTA takes on SC County, water district [SJ Mercury; 8/21/12]
Two-word error may cost SC water district $548 million [YAHOO! NEWS; 8/21/12]
2-word ballot mistake could endanger $548m tax bid [Sac'to Bee; 8/20/12]
Two-word error could cost SCV Water District [SJ Mercury News, 8/19/12]
Reimb or gouging? SV agencies ask repayment for open meetings law compliance [SJ Merc News; 8/17/12]
Taxpayer group: SC County sales tax measure is illegal [SJ Mercury News, 8/15/12]
SVTA press coverage - June, 2012
SC County sup'rs push sales tax for Nov ballot [SJ Mercury News; 6/26/12]
SJ proposes half-cent sales tax [SJ Mercury News; 6/26/12]
SVTA press coverage - October, 2010
Prop. 22 limits on state raids is hotly disputed [Oakland Tribune; 10/18/10]
Member Application / Renewal
August 31, 2012
Mountain View Voice
Taxpayer group threatens to sue water district
Mountain View Voice Staff
Silicon Valley Taxpayers Association
is threatening to sue the
Santa Clara Valley Water District
for violating the
-- a charge that a representative from the public utility said was politically motivated and twists the facts.
In a letter to the public utility, the taxpayers association told the water district that it would consider litigation if the "Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection" measure -- an extension and increase of the Measure B parcel tax from 2000 -- is not withdrawn from the November ballot.
The SVTA claims that the water district violated the Brown Act when officials there failed to notify the public and local press, as they are required by law to do, a full 24 hours before convening a meeting pertaining to a parcel tax extension proposal.
A representative from the district said that "good faith" efforts were made, and claimed his organization missed the deadline by only about an hour, at most.
Marty Grimes, spokesman for the SCVWD, admits that district officials were late in notifying the Mercury News and in posting a notice on the SCVWD website that a special meeting was to be held Aug. 8. However, Grimes said, the meeting was held for one reason only: to remove two words from the parcel tax ballot description because officials at the water district had exceeded the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters' restriction of 75 words for ballot descriptions by two words.
The board found out about the problem on Aug. 7, three days before the Aug. 10 filing deadline for the Nov. 6 election, and was acting as quickly as possible to address it, Grimes said. The district missed notifying the Mercury News by 59 minutes and posted the notification of the meeting on its website 45 minutes late, Grimes said.
"Our read of it is, we made good faith efforts to meet the Brown Act," he said. "There wasn't really a substantive breach of the Brown Act in any way."
"I agree that it was an honest mistake. I can't imagine why they would make this mistake on purpose," said John Roeder, president of the SVTA. But, he continued, "the law says that these are the notification periods. There was a violation of that."
Grimes maintained that the only reason Roeder and the association care about the violation is that they are opposed to the measure and always have been. "They are going to do anything they can to try to kill it any way they can," he said.
Roeder does not entirely dispute this statement.
"I would like to see Measure B simply taken off the ballot, and I would like to see them put together a better, well thought-through project," he said. With the ballot measure, he added, the water district is simply seeking an extension and increase of a parcel tax without justifying the request by offering specifics on what the money will be used to do.
The water district taxes all parcels in the district, including in Mountain View, under Measure B, which passed in 2000. The current parcel tax, which the district calls the "Clean, Safe Creeks" plan, is set to expire in 2016.
The proposed ballot measure, also called Measure B, or "Safe, Clean Water," would extend that tax through 2029 and increase the amount collected by a maximum of 3 percent each year. The decision on how much to raise the tax each year would fall to the water board.
If raised by the maximum amount each year, it is estimated that that tax will raise $548 million over its 16 year life span. Different types of parcels would pay different rates.
A district press release said the money will be used to "ensure a safe, reliable water supply for the future, reduce toxins, hazards and contaminants, ... protect our water supply and local dams from the impact of earthquakes and natural disasters," and support other projects related to water and wildlife preservation.
That list is far too vague, according to Roeder. Furthermore, he said, it would require certain people to pay for projects that would not benefit or positively impact them.
--- --- ---
The print version of this story stated that the proposed tax extension would last an additional 13 years. Actually, the proposal would extend the current tax by 16 years.
-Mountain View Voice
This article is also available at the Web site of the
Mountain View Voice
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