Monday, July 25, 2011

San Jose Voters: No New Taxes, Thanks

On the same day that the LA Times tried to convince us that California voters wanted new tax options that they didn't need and weren't being offered on any ballot, the San Jose Mercury News offers us evidence of greater sanity on the part of tax-weary Californians. According to the News, a poll by San Jose officials shows little to no support among voters for new taxes to help balance the city's swooning finances. A couple weeks ago, the City Council polled over 1,200 voters about five tax measures that it was considering for a November ballot: quarter-cent and half-cent general sales tax increases, and three special purpose taxes to fund public safety services. None of the three special taxes reached the two-thirds threshold they would require for passage on a ballot. The half-cent tax got only 51% of the vote, making its chances on a ballot very bleak. While the quarter-cent tax got 57%, a unanimous City Council vote to declare a state of fiscal emergency would be needed to get it to the ballot. Given the grim state of San Jose's finances, and the fact that the city has recently laid off dozens of police officers, it says a lot about how the normally-reliably-Democratic voters there feel about their economy.

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