Santa Rosa Sales Tax Increase, Measure P (November 2010)

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A Santa Rosa Sales Tax Increase, Measure P ballot question was on the November 2, 2010 ballot for voters in the City of Santa Rosa in Sonoma County. It was approved.

Measure P increased the sales tax in the city by one-quarter cent to a total of 9.5%. The increase was expected to generate an additional $6 million a year for the city's budget.[1]

Election results

Measure P
Approveda Yes 30,119 57.0%
These final, certified, election results are from the Sonoma County elections office.

Lawsuit against

See also: List of ballot measure lawsuits in 2010

In the wake of Measure P's victory at the polls, Santa Rosa resident Michael Hilber filed an election complaint with the California Secretary of State’s office. Hilber said in the complaint that Measure P should be voided because the ballot wording was "flawed and unenforceable."[2]

Hilber said that the language on the ballot asked voters whether the city should "enact a one-quarter cent sales tax for eight years." According to Hilber, they should have asked for a "one quarter of a percent" sales tax. According to Hilber:

"One quarter of a cent and one quarter of a percent are two entirely different things."[2]

The city responded by saying that it was clear from the analysis of Measure P in the official voter pamphlet what it meant. The analysis there said, "Measure P, if approved by a majority vote of the City's voters would enact a one quarter of one percent (0.25%) increase to the “Transaction and Use Tax” (commonly referred to as “sales tax”) on each dollar of taxable sales of goods within the City of Santa Rosa ..."[2]

Text of measure

The question on the ballot:

Measure P: To help maintain essential City services including police and fire protection; violent and gang-crime prevention; pedestrian safety; property and nuisancerelated crime prevention; street paving and pothole repair; park safety; and recreation and youth programs, shall the City of Santa Rosa enact a one-quarter cent sales tax for eight years, with all revenue staying in the City and subject to annual, independent audits and public expenditure reports?[3]

See also


  1. Press Democrat, "PD Editorial: PD survey," September 27, 2010 (dead link)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Press Democrat, "Santa Rosa tax hike challenged on grammar grounds," December 8, 2011
  3. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.