City of Cotati Sales Tax Increase, Measure A (April 2010)

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A City of Cotati Sales Tax Increase, Measure A ballot question was on the April 13, 2010 ballot for voters in the City of Cotati in Sonoma County, where it was approved.[1][2]

Measure A asked voters to hike their city sales tax by half-a-cent. The tax will end in 2015, unless voters approve an extension.[3] The tax applies to all transactions within city limits except groceries and prescriptions.[2]

The higher sales tax generated by Measure A was expected to bring in between $600,000 and $900,000 in annual revenue for the cash-strapped city.[1] It was placed on the ballot as the Cotati City Council declared in a 5-0 vote that Cotati is in a financial emergency. A unanimous declaration of a fiscal emergency is required to call a special election to increase city taxes. The city's report says that the fiscal situation it faces is such that "All basic quality-of-life services, including recreation, neighborhood services, community events, and similar public services commonly associated with municipal government will be eliminated" unless voters approve the tax.

Election results

Measure A
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 992 59.8%
No66640.2%
These final, certified, election results are from the Sonoma County elections office.

Cotati's finances

  • At the time of the election, the city said it faced "a combined operating and structural budget deficit of more than $750,000."
  • The city also maintained that it had cut spending on salaries and programs by 33% since 2006.

Opponents

Opponents included:

  • The Sonoma County Taxpayers' Association.[3]
  • George Barich. When Barich was on the city council, he voted against declaring a fiscal emergency. He continues to oppose the tax hike. Since a unanimous vote of the city council is required to declare a fiscal emergency, if Barich was still on the city council, this tax hike measure would not be going on a special election ballot. Barich predicts that the sales tax hike measure will lose.

Cost of election

The cost of administering the special election was about $20,000.[1]

References