SSF Measure W .5% Tax for 30 Years on November 2015 Ballot

South San Francisco, CA     October 4, 2015                 SmartVoter.org

To maintain South San Francisco services, including maintaining neighborhood police patrols/9-1-1 response, programs for seniors/disabled residents, crime/gang suppression programs, repairing potholes/streets, maintaining youth/teen educational/recreational programs, providing a police operations center that meets earthquake safety codes, and other city services; shall South San Francisco levy a 1/2 cent sales tax for 30 years, with authority to incur debt to accelerate projects, annual audits, citizens’ oversight, no funds for Sacramento and all funds for South San Francisco?

 

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Impartial Analysis from the City Attorney

Measure W is a ballot measure that, if approved by the voters, would authorize a one-half percent (0.5%) transactions and use tax. Because Measure W does not limit the use of tax revenue generated by this tax to specified uses, it is a “general” tax. Therefore the City may use the funds for any legitimate governmental purpose. If approved by the voters, the tax will be deposited into the City of South San Francisco’s general fund and may be used to pay for services, such as maintaining neighborhood police patrols/911 response, programs for seniors/disabled residents, crime/gang suppression programs, repairing potholes/streets, maintaining youth/teen educational/recreational programs, providing a police operations center that meets earthquake safety codes, and other city services. Tax revenue could also be used to pay the debt on bonds or other financing to accelerate projects. The tax would terminate automatically 30 years after collection begins unless extended by voters.

If approved, Measure W would also require independent citizen oversight, mandatory financial audits, and yearly reports. Additionally, the City Council would be required to appoint a five-member citizen oversight committee that would review expenditures and an external auditor’s report annually on the use of the tax funds. In the event that bonds were issued, the committee would also review use of bond funds.

While Measure W, which was placed on the ballot by the City Council, is a “transactions and use tax”, it is commonly understood by residents as a sales tax. The proposed transactions and use tax would add half a penny to the price of an item that costs a dollar (if the item is normally subject to sales tax). Currently the cumulative tax on retail sales in South San Francisco is 9% of the purchase price. On a taxable sales transaction of one dollar, South San Francisco currently receives one cent from the State and the remainder is paid to other public agencies, including the State and the County.

A transactions and use tax is levied on the same purchases as the existing sales tax with some minor exceptions. Examples of sales that would not be subject to the tax would be: unprocessed food, such as groceries from a grocery store or farmers’ market; real estate transactions and services. Retailers and other businesses that collect the tax at the time of sale remit the funds to the State of Equalization which administers the tax. The State Board of Equalization then transmits the City’s share of the tax to the City. Revenue from the tax would go to the City’s general fund and be available to support the full range of municipal services.

A “Yes” vote is a vote to approve a one-half cent transaction and use tax for 30 years. A “No” vote is a vote against the tax. Measure W would be approved if it received a majority of “Yes” votes.

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Arguments For Measure W

As residents, we care about public safety and enhancing the quality of life in South San Francisco. That is why we are voting YES on W.

YES on W ensures our City can maintain rapid 911 emergency response times for police, fire safety services, neighborhood patrols, and crime prevention and gang suppression programs without worrying about public safety budget cuts.

YES on W improves the quality of life in South San Francisco by maintaining our streets that are in need of over $18 million in repairs, fixing potholes, and preventing our roads from falling into further disrepair.

YES on W maintains and enhances recreational and educational programs for senior citizens and disabled residents.

YES on W provides quality services for residents of all generations! YES on W expands safe recreational and library spaces for seniors and students, including after school and summer programs for youth and teens so important to keeping them off the street, out of trouble, and away from gangs and drugs!

YES on W keeps our taxpayer dollars LOCAL to fund OUR services and priorities! We need local control for local needs. Let’s keep OUR money in South San Francisco to maintain and enhance our quality of life, our services, and our community.

Measure W is fiscally accountable, including: Independent Citizens’ Oversight; no tax increases without voter approval; mandatory financial audits; and public reporting to ensure funds are spent on OUR priorities. By law, ALL funds from Measure W must stay in South San Francisco.

Measure W is NOT a tax on your home or property and non-city residents who benefit from city services will share the costs of those services.

Measure W was developed after receiving input from hundreds of South San Francisco residents!

YES on W. Join us in voting to keep our community safe and enhance our quality of life!

Vist: http://www.VoteYesonW.com

/s/ Mike Brosnan, Retired Deputy Police Chief

/s/ Kristy Camacho, Local Parent and Community Volunteer

/s/ Bill Benavides, Local Community Emergency Response Volunteer

/s/ Betty Battagia, Senior and Library Advocate

/s/ Sam Shihadeh, Local Business Owner

Rebuttal to Arguments For

The South San Francisco City Council had funds for a downtown parking garage, fire station, recreation building, maintenance yard, and countless improvements to City parks, even in recent downturns without raising taxes.

Why can’t they prioritize capital projects specified in Measure W without raising taxes?

Budgets reveal an organization’s true priorities. The South San Francisco City Council is saying that every dollar spent today is going to something they consider a higher priority than to “address … street repairs.”

Do you agree?

If street maintenance is a priority, doesn’t it deserve a spot in the City’s annual budget?

Isn’t street maintenance an essential city service?

The answer is clear: It’s not a priority for the South San Francisco City Council.

Tell City Hall to get their priorities straight by voting NO on W.

The City Council says it is “worrying about future budget cuts” but perhaps they should look at the budget they passed:

2013-14 revenues of $121,644,042 versus
2015-16 revenues of $126,300,000

That’s a $4,655,958 increase in revenues. Since when is a revenue increase a “budget cut”?

There are two ways to balance a budget:
1. increase revenues
2. cut expenses

But the City Council has increased revenues AND increased expenses.

From the 2014-15 adopted budget, revenues are UP $16,014,782 but the big spenders have increased expenses by a whopping $23,828,603.

Where is the “budget cut?”

If you can spend your money more wisely than the big spenders on the City Council, you should vote NO on Measure W.

For more information: http://www.SVTaxpayers.org/2015-south-san-francisco-sales-tax

/s/ Mark Hinkle, President Silicon Valley Taxpayers Association

 

Arguments Against Measure W

The South San Francisco City Council had funds for a downtown parking garage, fire station, recreation building, maintenance yard, and countless improvements to City parks, even in recent downturns without raising taxes.

Why can’t they prioritize capital projects specified in Measure W without raising taxes?

Budgets reveal an organization’s true priorities. The South San Francisco City Council is saying that every dollar spent today is going to something they consider a higher priority than to “address … street repairs.”

Do you agree?

If street maintenance is a priority, doesn’t it deserve a spot in the City’s annual budget?

Isn’t street maintenance an essential city service?

The answer is clear: It’s not a priority for the South San Francisco City Council.

Tell City Hall to get their priorities straight by voting NO on W.

The City Council says it is “worrying about future budget cuts” but perhaps they should look at the budget they passed:

2013-14 revenues of $121,644,042 versus
2015-16 revenues of $126,300,000

That’s a $4,655,958 increase in revenues. Since when is a revenue increase a “budget cut”?

There are two ways to balance a budget:
1. increase revenues
2. cut expenses

But the City Council has increased revenues AND increased expenses.

From the 2014-15 adopted budget, revenues are UP $16,014,782 but the big spenders have increased expenses by a whopping $23,828,603.

Where is the “budget cut?”

If you can spend your money more wisely than the big spenders on the City Council, you should vote NO on Measure W.

For more information: http://www.SVTaxpayers.org/2015-south-san-francisco-sales-tax

/s/ Mark Hinkle, President Silicon Valley Taxpayers Association

Rebuttal to Arguments Against

Do not allow out-of-town special interests to dictate what is in the best interests of South San Francisco residents!

Measure W was developed after months of consultation with thousands of people who live in our City to determine community priorities. Vote YES on W to:

  • Address $18 million in street maintenance and pothole repair needs that are beyond the repairs currently funded by the City. Yes on W prevents the streets we walk on and drive over daily from falling into further disrepair or additional expense.
  • Maintain vital police and fire services, including gang suppression, neighborhood patrols, and rapid emergency services. Yes on W upgrades our aging Police Operations Center with a seismically-safe one.
  • Provide programs for seniors, disabled residents, and all families.
  • Expand safe Recreation/Library spaces to keep kids healthy and off the streets.
  • Ensure that out-of-town visitors to our City pay their fair share for their use of our streets, roads, and other services.

Here is what Measure W will NOT do:

  • Measure W is not a tax on your home or property
  • Measure W does not apply to food purchased as groceries or prescription medication

If opponents had simply checked the facts, they will have found that South San Francisco practices strict fiscal prudence and accountability.

When we maintain our quality of life and safety, all members of the community – residents and business owners alike – benefit. Join us in voting YES on W.

Questions? Visit http://www.voteYesonW.com

/s/ Al Banfield, Local Business owner

/s/ Cisca Hansen, Retired Educator and Resident

/s/ Ken Hancock, South San Francisco Police Association

/s/ Jeannette Acosta, Senior Advocate and Life-Long Resident

/s/ Todd Rael, Firefighter and 10 Year Resident

3 comments for “SSF Measure W .5% Tax for 30 Years on November 2015 Ballot

  1. Alana Gomez
    October 9, 2015 at 10:47 pm

    Editor – much appreciated if you would clarify the rate of tax on this topic’s heading for clarity.
    The correct amount is 0.5%. The San Mateo Daily Journal had an article updating the city’s position with the city manager and councilmember Adiego commenting on the state of the city’s finances – I believe it was 10/05/15.

  2. October 10, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    Number 1 none of you will be here in 30 years, so your leaving children and grandchildren with this
    Number 2 why do you not let businesses that create sales tax? There is no grocery store north of railroad ave there is no decent supermarket or stores such as target or Walmart. We
    Which generate ta Es.
    Number 3 how many times do we redo grand ave? It’s been atleast 2 times and you still cannot get appropriate stores most folks want to go there

  3. Editor
    October 11, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    Alana,
    Thank you for bringing this to our attention. It should have read 0.5% and the correction has been made.
    -ESC

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