Sacramento Bee

AP State Wire News

2-word ballot mistake could endanger $548m tax bid

The Associated Press

Monday, Aug. 20, 2012

This article is also posted at the Web site of the Sacramento Bee, here.

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- A two-word mistake could threaten a half-billion dollar tax measure in the San Francisco Bay area.

The Santa Clara Valley Water District is seeking voter approval in November for a $548 million tax increase.

The San Jose Mercury News ( says the district submitted a 77-word summary for the ballot to election officials this month. But the word limit is 75 words.

When it learned about the error, the district held a board meeting to approve a new, shorter version.

But the meeting wasn't publicized far enough in advance to meet requirements of California's open meeting law.

The Silicon Valley Taxpayers' Association is now threatening to sue unless the district pulls the measure off the ballot.

Water district board Chairwoman Linda LeZotte says that would be devastating to the district.

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