San Jose Mercury News

August 24, 2012


Appellate Court turns down Santa Clara County taxpayer group's lawsuit to stop sales tax measure

By Tracy Seipel

SAN JOSE -- The Sixth District Court of Appeal on Thursday declined to hear a lawsuit by a taxpayers group that seeks to stop Santa Clara County from placing a sales tax measure on the Nov. 6 ballot.

The case now will proceed in Santa Clara County Superior Court.

On Monday, the Silicon Valley Taxpayers' Association sued the county, its Board of Supervisors and the Registrar of Voters over the county's one-eighth-cent sales tax measure on the grounds it violates a provision of state law.

Proposition 218 requires a proposed county tax increase to appear on a ballot where at least one seat for the Board of Supervisors also will appear. But the county supervisor races were decided in the June 5 primary. Because of that, the group says, the tax measure is invalid.

The taxpayers' association filed lawsuits in both the Court of Appeal and Santa Clara County Superior Court. Attorney Bradley Hertz said he was disappointed by Thursday's decision but is preparing to appear Monday morning before Superior Court Judge Kevin McKenney to plead his clients' case.

If the group loses in that court, it could again appeal to the Sixth District Court of Appeal, said Hertz.

The Registrar of Voters office said it has a Sept. 7 deadline to begin printing ballot materials for the Nov. 6 general election.

Contact Tracy Seipel at

This article is also available at the web site of the San Jose Mercury News, here.

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