City of Sacramento Sales Tax Increase, Measure U (November 2012)

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A City of Sacramento Sales Tax Increase was on the November 6, 2012, ballot for voters in the City of Sacramento in Sacramento County, where it was approved.[1]

Measure U levied a one-half cent sales tax on the sale of goods and services in the City of Sacramento for six (6) years. It is expected that this will generate $28 million a year in new tax revenues.

Election results

Measure U
Approveda Yes 88,733 64.14%
Final official results from the Sacramento County elections office.


Measure U was supported by:

  • Police Chief Rick Braziel[2]
  • Fire Chief Ray Jones[2]

Funding for support campaign

According to the FPPC disclosure forms filed with the City of Sacramento[3], Sacramento Police and Firefighter Unions provided the vast majority of money for the Yes on U campaign.

10/25/12Fortis LLC$1,000
10/25/12 Sacramento Area Fire Fighters Issue PAC $10,000
10/24/12Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 447 Commercial Account$15,000
10/12/12David S Taylor$3,000
10/10/12Operating Engineers Union Local 3$1,000
10/8/12Issues Mobilization PAC (IMPAC)$10,000
10/6/12Taylor & Wiley Law Firm$1,000
9/28/12Sacramento Area Fire Fighters Issue PAC$15,000
9/20/12Sacramento Police Officers Association$15,000

The Issues Mobilization PAC (IMPAC) is an entity of the California Association of Realtors. The fund has more than $8 million on hand and contributes to ballot measures throughout California.[4] The law firm of Taylor & Wiley specializes in land use, environmental and regulatory matters including hazardous materials, wetlands and endangered species.[5]

The Bee has reported on the Plumbers Union leader Harry Rotz. "Under Rotz's watch, the plumbers union has donated more than $800,000 to local campaigns in the past four years, records show. According to (Sandy) Sheedy, 'Harry and his family have always been among the most influential people at City Hall.' Rotz, who never speaks with the media and declined a request to comment for this article, regularly made his presence known during City Hall campaigns with independent expenditure mailings supporting pro-labor candidates and causes."[6]


Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson was said to oppose Measure M but "forgot" to submit his ballot argument in time to have it included in the ballot statement.[2] A local group Eye on Sacramento filed a lawsuit[7] when Johnson failed to file his "No" argument, seeking time to have another group submit an augment.[8]

Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny ruled against the group in August[9] - ensuring voters would not see a ballot statement in opposition to the measure.

Steve Maviglio, press spokesperson for Mayor Brown wrote recently that the tax is "a regressive sales tax. That means that poor and middle-income families will pay the same rate as Sacramento’s wealthiest citizens, essentially subsidizing the rich for services that we all receive."[10]

Funding for opposition campaign

Opponents raised $1,960 from individual donors. The largest single donor was Craig Powell who contributed $1,250.

Ballot text

The question on the ballot:

MEASURE U: “To restore and protect essential public safety services, including 9-1-1 response,police officers, gang/youth violence prevention, fire protection/emergency medical response, and other essential services including park maintenance, youth/senior services, and libraries, shall the City enact a one-half cent sales tax for six years with all revenue legally required to stay in the City’s General Fund, none for the State, with independent annual financial audits and citizen oversight?”[11]

See also

External links

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