County Sales Tax Increase Challenged
Anti-tax advocates in Santa Clara County on Tuesday filed a lawsuit in Superior Court that claims the state constitution requires the county's half-cent sales tax increase measure to appear on the November -- rather than June -- ballot, the San Jose Mercury News reports (Witt, San Jose Mercury News, 3/22). The initiative, Measure A, would impose a "general purpose tax," which requires a simple majority to pass, but does not allow officials to specifically state what projects would receive funds.
According to county supervisors, proceeds of the tax increase could be used in part to fund health care, trauma and emergency services. Supervisors also have suggested that part of the tax increase could be used to fund transportation projects (Witt, San Jose Mercury News, 3/21).
Opponents of the measure say the state constitution requires proposed tax measures to "be consolidated with a regularly scheduled general election," which is held in November.
According to county officials, the June ballot is considered a primary election for many state offices but is a general election for two seats on the county Board of Supervisors.
In addition, a portion of the state elections code defines a "general election" as "any statewide election held on a regular election date," including the "first Tuesday after the first Monday in June" (San Jose Mercury News, 3/22).