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San Mateo County Sales Tax Increase, Measure A (November 2012)

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A San Mateo County Sales Tax Increase, Measure A ballot question was on the November 6, 2012, ballot for voters in San Mateo County, where it was approved.[1]

Measure A increased the sales tax paid on the purchase of goods and services in San Mateo County by one-half cent for 10 years.[2]

Voters in San Mateo County rejected two tax hike measures proposed by the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors on the June 5, 2012 ballot: Measure U and Measure X.[2]

A simple majority vote was required for approval.

Election results

Measure A
Approveda Yes 169,661 65.39%
Final official results from the San Mateo County elections office.



The official voter guide arguments in favor of Measure A were signed by:

  • Adrienne J. Tissier, President, San Mateo County Board of Supervisors
  • Michael Garb, Advocate for Children’s Service and Abuse Prevention
  • Maya Altman, CEO, Health Plan of San Mateo
  • Anthony L. Slimick, President San Mateo County Firefighters Local 2400
  • Julia Bott, Executive Director, San Mateo County Parks Foundation
  • Don Horsley, San Mateo County Supervisor
  • Debra Amour, Registered Nurse, Intensive Care
  • Armando Muela, Retired Fire Chief, Woodside Fire Protection District
  • Anne Campbell, San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools
  • Lenore L. (Lennie) Roberts, San Mateo County Parks Advocate
The "Yes on Measure A" campaign logo

Arguments in favor

Arguments in the official voter guide in favor of Measure A included:

  • "From the Coastside to the Baylands and everywhere in between, we proudly call San Mateo County our home. However, due to continued cuts from the State, San Mateo County faces an ongoing structural deficit of tens of millions of dollars - much of what we love about living here is at risk."
  • "In response to this declining revenue over the past five years, San Mateo County eliminated over 500 positions, de-funded vital programs and according to the Civil Grand Jury, our Emergency Operations Center has fallen below acceptable standards. Current employees have done their part by agreeing to pay more for health care and retirement. Local leaders have cut the budget to the bone and further reductions to crucial emergency services and others could put residents at risk."


  • The Seton Medical Center and its parent group (the Daughters of Charity Health System) donated $885,868 to the campaign in favor of Measure A.[3]
  • An SEIU affiliate gave $100,000 to the "Yes on A" campaign.[3]



The official voter guide arguments opposing Measure A were signed by:

  • John Roeder, President, Silicon Valley Taxpayers Association
  • Harland Harrison, Chair, Libertarian Party of San Mateo County CA
  • Don Pettengill, Half Moon Bay Resident

Arguments against

Arguments in the official voter guide opposing Measure A included:

  • "With Measure A, San Mateo County government gets to loosen its belt while the rest of us get to punch another hole in ours to tighten it even further. That’s not right! Everyone must pitch in. It’s unfair to ask taxpayers to further support unsustainable employee compensation and pensions. Average full-time county employee salary plus benefits is over $144,000, way above what the average taxpayer brings in. Are they working for us, or are we working for them?"
  • "Our Supervisors dare not annoy the public employee unions. Instead, they expect taxpayers to approve ever-increasing taxes to sustain public employee compensation almost twice that of the average taxpayer. Notice to taxpayers: blackmail never stops! They’ll be back with more demands in future."
  • "Higher sales taxes hurt local businesses, and increase unemployment. Worse yet, they are regressive and hit the poor hardest of all. Measure A proponents should be deeply ashamed of their support for a tax that so hurts the poor and rewards the well off."

Ballot question

The question on the ballot:

Measure A: "To ensure San Mateo quality of life by retaining critical facilities/services such as: child abuse prevention, 911 dispatch, fire prevention, after-school library reading/homework programs; keeping parks open; maintaining seismically safe hospital/emergency rooms which may include substantial funding to replace Seton Hospital/emergency room for low-income children/seniors/disabled; and other County services, shall San Mateo County levy a half-cent sales tax for ten years, which the State cannot take away, with oversight/independent audits?"[4]

See also

External links

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