Half Moon Bay Sales Tax Increase, Measure K (November 2010)
Measure K, if it had been approved by voters, would have added one cent to the city's sales tax. This would have raised about $1.4 million a year for the cash-strapped city. Increasing the sales tax by one-cent would have increased the total sales tax for goods purchased in the city to 10.25%. If the tax had been approved, it would have been the highest total sales tax in a city in the Bay Area.
Half Moon Bay had about a $500,000 deficit for the fiscal year that ends on June 30, 2011.
Some discussion occurred to the effect that if voters don't approve Measure K, the City of Half Moon Bay, which has been in existence for 50 years, might have to dis-incorporate and be managed through the county. According to the Half Moon Bay Review, "City leaders say they are baffled by the talk of dissolving and maintain it isn’t something they were considering. However, city management declined to dismiss the idea outright."
Election results are from the San Mateo County elections division as of November 27, 2010.
The Half Moon Bay Police Department has an annual budget of $3.6 million. This is approximately 60% of Half Moon Bay's total expenses each year.
On average, Half Moon Bay police officers earn about $80,000 each year.
One way for the city to save money on policing, according to some, is to contract out its policing to the San Mateo County Sheriff's Department. The City of San Carlos is on the verge of entering into such an agreement for its policing, and that is expected to save San Carlos about $2 million a year.
Text of measure
The question on the ballot:
|Measure K: "Half Moon Bay Vital City Services Measure. To protect quality of life in the City of Half Moon Bay by maintaining essential local services including local library hours, 911 emergency police response, youth and senior programs and services, a local police department, park and recreational programs, street and pothole repair and other general City services, shall the City of Half Moon Bay levy a one cent sales tax, which the State cannot take away, and with independent annual audits and all funds staying local?"|
- Text of Measure K
- City attorney's impartial analysis of Measure K
- Argument in favor of Measure K in voter pamphlet (No argument against was submitted for the voter pamphlet)