Proposed County Tax Increase Goes to Ballot
The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted 4-1 to include a half-cent tax increase on the June 6 ballot, the San Jose Mercury News reports. If approved by voters, the tax is expected to fund health and human service programs and transportation.
The increase would raise the county's tax rate to 8.75% and will cost an average family of four an additional $225 per year in taxes.
The measure was drafted as a general tax, which places no restrictions on how the board could spend the money and requires only a simple majority to win approval (Witt, San Jose Mercury News, 3/1).
It is "worrisome" that the half-cent tax measure would increase the county tax rate "without locking in a spending plan," but "[i]t's time to put something on the ballot for June," a Mercury News editorial states. According to the editorial, the ballot measure "is all about bringing BART to San Jose and shoring up health care and other services for the needy." The state and federal governments are "retreating shamefully from these responsibilities," and the county supports using half of the tax increase "to maintain safety-net hospitals and social services," the editorial states (San Jose Mercury News, 2/28).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.