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San Mateo County, CA June 5, 2012 Election
Measure X
Business License Tax on Commerical Parking Facility Operators
County of San Mateo

Majority Approval Required

Fail: 53,616 / 46.9% Yes votes ...... 60,679 / 53.1% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Jul 12 3:14pm, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (467/467)
36.5% Voter Turnout (123,330/337,702)
Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Full Text

Shall Chapter 5.152 be added to the San Mateo County Ordinance Code, imposing a business license tax of eight percent of gross receipts on operators of commerical parking facilities located in the unincorporated area of San Mateo County?

Impartial Analysis
The California Constitution and state law authorize the County of San Mateo Board of Supervisors, upon approval of a majority of the voting electorate, to impose a general tax.

By this measure, the Board of Supervisors proposes to add Chapter 5.152 to the San Mateo County Ordinance Code. A copy of the proposed ordinance is printed in the sample ballot. This measure and the corresponding ordinance would authorize the County to levy a business license tax on operators of commercial parking facility businesses in the unincorporated area of the County. The tax would be imposed at the rate of eight percent (8%) on the gross receipts of commercial parking facility businesses in the unincorporated area. All gross receipts collected on or after July 1, 2012, will be subject to the tax. Facilities in the incorporated areas of the County are not subject to this proposed tax.

The proposed ordinance defines a "commercial parking facility" as a privately operated facility which receives compensation in exchange for providing parking or storage for motor vehicles, certain recreational vehicles, motorcycles, trailers, bicycles, or other similar means of transportation. The term "commerical parking facility" does not include facilities that rent parking or storage space in connection with the rental of residential dwelling units or any facility that only makes space available for boats or other water craft.

The proceeds of the business license tax will be placed in the County's general fund to support general County services and functions.

The ordinance imposes certain obligations in relation to the tax, including that each operator of a facility covered by the tax must register with the Tax Collector, report gross receipts to the Tax Collector on a quarterly basis, and preserve supporting documentation for three years. The ordinance also includes: provisions for collecting the tax, refunding overpayments, and appealing decisions of the Tax Collector; financial penalties for fraud or delinquency; and criminal (misdemeanor) penalties for refusal to comply with the ordinance or making a false/fraudulent report or claim relating to the tax.

A "YES" vote on this measure is a vote to approve and authorize the imposition of a business license tax at the rate of 8% of gross receipts on commercial parking facility businesses in the unincorporated area of San Mateo County as will be set forth in Chapter 5.152 of the San Mateo County Ordinance Code. The tax would be used to support general County services and functions.

A "NO" vote on this measure would not allow the County to impose a business license tax on commercial parking facility businesses.

This measure passes if a majority of those voting on the measure vote "Yes".

  Partisan Information

Yes on X
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Arguments For Measure X Arguments Against Measure X
The County of San Mateo provides a broad range of public safety, medical, and human services to over 720,000 residents.

Unfortunately, the cost of providing these services is increasing, while state and federal support is dwindling. Due to the global economic downturn, many more local residents are in need, further stressing our safety net.

To address these challenges, over the past six years, San Mateo County has eliminated 500 positions, reduced departmental budgets, consolidated departments, closed county facilities, and negotiated reductions in labor costs to achieve over $70 million in ongoing savings.

Despite this progress, San Mateo County continues to rely on reserves to balance our budget. Next year, San Mateo County will face another $28 million budget deficit, an amount that could exceed $50 million by 2017, even while utilizing reserves.

To meet the needs of our communities, we must find new revenues while continuing to pursue cost-cutting efforts. One way to help close the budget gap is the measure before you, an eight percent (8%) business license tax on gross receipts of operators of commercial parking facilities in the unincorporated County area.

This measure would raise approximately $5 million without significantly impacting the pocketbooks of County residents and provide for local revenue that cannot be diverted by the state.

The San Francisco International Airport, where many vehicle rental facilities are located, is owned by the City and County of San Francisco and as a government pays no taxes to San Mateo County. San Francisco receives over $30,000,000 annually from the airport while San Mateo County derives comparatively little. It's time for San Mateo County to share in the benefits.

By voting YES for this measure you are helping to ensure that San Mateo County will remain an enjoyable and prosperous place to live for many years to come.

/s/ Adrienne J. Tissier, President, San Mateo County Board of Supervisors

/s/ Carole Groom, Supervisor, San Mateo County

/s/ Anne E. Campbell, San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools

/s/ Lennie Roberts, Environmental Advocate

/s/ James P. Fox, Retired District Attorney

Rebuttal to Arguments For
We heard all this before, in 2008. Those excuses were lame then, and they are lame now. The real cause of San Mateo County's ongoing budget deficits is irresponsible spending, particularly on employee salaries and benefits:

San Mateo County Budget, All Funds

Revenue in 2001-02:$949,133,697; Revenue in 2011-12:$1,353,464,134; Increase: 43%

Salaries/Benefits in 2001-02: $389,676,928; Salaries/Benefits in 2011-12: $739,333,141; Increase: 90%

$ per Equivalent Full Time Employee in 2001-02:
$80,080; $ per Equivalent Full Time Employee in 2011-12: $144,885; Increase: 81%

No tax can keep up with this kind of spending!

We said this in 2008 but even we did not foresee an average County employee at $144,000 in salary and benefits! In 2007, the County Manager warned: "Rapidly increasing salaries and benefits are one of the factors causing the structural deficit ... Will future County salary and benefit increases be consistent with revenue growth and/or productivity increases?"

In the last two years alone, salary and benefit increases total over $60 million, more than twice next year's projected $28 million budget deficit. But instead of addressing this spending crisis, the County wants higher taxes?

New taxes will damage our local travel industry, worsen unemployment, and increase the already high cost of living in San Mateo County. Pushing the County's budget failures onto the backs of struggling workers is both cruel and senseless.

Proponents assert that higher taxes will somehow ensure San Mateo County remains "enjoyable and prosperous." That's just silly.

Reject this hastily approved and ill-conceived measure.

Vote NO on Measure X!

/s/ Michelle Rosas, Small Business Owner

/s/ John Roeder, President, Silicon Valley Taxpayers' Association

/s/ Juan Dominguez, Small Business Manager

/s/ Kelly Hunt, Regional Vice-President, Enterprise Rent-a-Car Company of San Francisco

/s/ Jim McGuire, Best Western Grosvenor General Manager

In 2008, voters rejected proposed San Mateo County taxes on parking and auto rentals. Now these same measures, plus a hotel tax, are back. Together they represent a $13 million a year tax increase!

When those earlier tax measures failed in 2008, the economy was bad. Record mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures. Soaring food and energy (especially gas) prices. Increased unemployment. But these days, people are really hurting with even higher food and gas prices. Long-term unemployment is the worst since the Great Depression, and people are still losing their homes.

New taxes make even less sense now than they did in 2008!

Voters know very well who will suffer if these taxes are imposed. We'll pay more for airport parking, hotel rooms, and rental cars, if these taxes pass. Even restaurant valet and paid hotel parking will be taxed.

Worse yet, workers in these affected businesses will face reduced job security as their employers scramble to cut costs to pay the county. These taxes hit those businesses and workers hardest of all. Taxes like these that target just a few selected services are outrageously unfair to those workers.

How does San Mateo County plan to use these new tax revenues? They are general taxes and the county can spend them however it likes.

Measure X will increase the already high cost of living here. It will hurt workers and damage our travel industry. We just can't afford to give San Mateo County a blank check in these hard times. Please,

Vote NO on Measure X!

/s/ Michelle Rosas, Small Business Owner

/s/ Jim McGuire, Best Western Grosvenor General Manager

/s/ Juan Dominguez, manager at a small business

/s/ Kelly Hunt, Regional Vice-President, Enterprise Rent-a-Car Company of San Francisco

/s/ Clifton Clark, SF Airport Marriott General Manager

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
Organizers of the opposition to Measure X are not from San Mateo County and have no vested interest in the local services this tax will support.

Despite the opponents' claim of challenging economic times, business at SFO has almost never been better - meaning the parking facilities that would pay this modest tax are also doing well. Opponents' claims of challenging economic times are simply false.

In fact, according to recent reports, the airport has seen sustained growth for eight successive years. In 2011, SFO's passenger count was 41.0 million, a 4.2% increase over 2010 and just shy of its all-time record high of 41.1 million passengers in 2000.

In addition, the City of San Francisco, due to its ownership of SFO, reaps millions of dollars a year from vehicle parking facilities around the airport while San Mateo County derives pennies in comparison.

All of the revenue derived from this measure will support existing services provided by the County of San Mateo as required by law including a broad range of health and human services, the county hospital, public safety services, as well as county parks and libraries.

Don't be fooled by out of town interests. San Mateo County residents must content with all of the traffic and pollution caused by vehicles transiting through our county to and from these facilities. This measure simply allows local residents to derive a small benefit in return.

Vote YES for San Mateo County by voting YES on Measure X.

/s/ Adrienne J. Tissier, President, San Mateo County Board of Supervisors

/s/ Donald A. Horsley, Supervisor, County of San Mateo

/s/ Anne E. Campbell, San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools

/s/ Michael D. Nevin, Executive Director

/s/ Julia Bott, Executive Director, San Mateo County Parks Foundation

Full Text of Measure X

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Created: July 26, 2012 13:02 PDT
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