City of Oakland Telephone Access Charge, Measure W (November 2010)

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A City of Oakland Telephone Access Charge, Measure W ballot proposition was on the November 2, 2010 ballot for voters in the City of Oakland in Alameda County, where it was decisively defeated.[1]

If approved by voters, the Telephone Access Charge would have allowed the city to bill residents $1.99 per telephone line and businesses $13 per trunk line.[2]

Election results

Measure W
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No58,34956.06%
Yes 45,732 43.94%
These final, certified results are from the Alameda County elections office.

Overall tax burden

According to Chip Johnson, a columnist at the San Francisco Chronicle, ."..if voters approve every tax measure sought by the city and the Oakland Unified School District this November, the average Oakland resident would have to pay an extra $627 a year. That would nearly double the local tax bill to about $1,400 a year."[3]

Other tax measures on the Oakland ballot were Measure BB, Measure L, Measure V and Measure W. Oakland voters will also be impacted by Measure F.[4]

Opposition

The editorial board of the Oakland Tribune recommended a "no" vote on Measure W, saying, "Oakland's high unemployment rate is well above the national average. Thousands have lost their homes. Many are struggling to pay for the basics. This is the reality for many Oaklanders. It is one reason why we strongly reject the city-sponsored ballot measures X and W. They would place an even greater burden on residents who are already struggling. The other reason we urge you to vote no is that the ballot measures are bad policy. They are hastily drawn, poorly crafted proposals designed by a city leadership that lacks the courage to address Oakland's long-term structural financial problems in a meaningful fashion."[5]

Text of measure

The question on the ballot:

Measure W: To support vital city services including public safety, library services, and parks and recreation, shall the Oakland Municipal Code be amended to establish a telephone “access line” tax at a rate of $1.99 per month per access line and $13 per month per “trunk line” will proceeds placed in the City’s General Fund subject to annual audits?[6]

See also

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