City of San Leandro Sales Tax Increase, Measure Z (November 2010)

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A City of San Leandro Sales Tax Increase, Measure Z was on the November 2, 2010 ballot for voters in the City of San Leandro in Alameda County. It was approved.[1]

The sales tax increase ballot question increased the sales tax paid in the city to 10%.

The vote on the city council to put the sales tax increase on the ballot was 6-1.

Election results

Measure Z
Approveda Yes 12,630 61.11%
These final, certified results are from the Alameda County elections office.


The San Leandro police and firefighters’ unions were in favor of Measure Z, and through September 30, contributed $50,000 to the campaign to urge a "yes" vote on Measure Z.[2]

San Leandro Police Officers’ Association President Sgt. Mike Sobek, whose union gave $30,000 to the "yes" campaign, said, "This community has always expected a high level of service from their police officers. And we’ve always given that. People here don’t know how good they have got it."[2]

San Leandro police officer Isaac Benabou, who earned $160,862 in 2009, signed the official ballot argument in favor of Measure Z, along with the firefighters’ union president John Torres, and others. In addition to Benabou's 2009 salary of $160,862, San Leandro also paid $56,600 into his pension, plus his other benefits, for a total cost to the city of over $200,000.[2]


San Leandro City Councilman Bill Stephens signed the official ballot arguments against Measure Z. He says, "I just don’t think it is a good idea. Measure Z is a temporary fix. The problem is in the internal structure of the budget. The city is paying more than it can afford in salaries, pensions, and benefits."[2]

Tim Holmes, owner of a coffeehouse in San Leandro, was the head of the campaign staff of mayoral candidate Stephen Cassidy. He signed the ballot arguments against Measure Z.[2]

The Contra Costa Times and Oakland Tribune have jointly editorialized for a "no" vote on Measure Z, saying, "But raising sales tax rates in a prolonged economic downturn is poor economic policy. Sales taxes weigh most heavily on lower-income residents and they can do considerable harm to businesses that are struggling with small profit margins. While it is true that cities have tightened their belts with spending cuts, there is more they can and should do to save money. Local governments need to negotiate leaner pay and benefits packages with public employees, who generally enjoy considerably higher total compensation than people with similar jobs in the private sector."[3][4]

Text of measure

The question on the ballot:

Measure Z: To protect and maintain local services, such as fire and 9-1-1 emergency response times, neighborhood police patrols, investigation and gang suppression officers, library hours/programs, street and pothole repairs, youth after-school and senior programs, and other general City services, shall the City of San Leandro enact a quartercent sales tax, for seven years, reviewed by a citizens’ oversight committee, annual independent audits, and all funds for San Leandro and no funds for Sacramento?[5]

See also

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