Town of Fairfax Sales Tax, Measure D (November 2011)

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A Town of Fairfax Sales Tax, Measure D ballot question was on the November 8, 2011 ballot for voters in the Town of Fairfax in Marin County, where it was approved.[1]

Measure D imposes an additional half-cent sales tax on purchases of goods and services made within the town limits of Fairfax. The tax will be in effect for five years.[2]

Estimates are that the tax will generate about $150,000 a year for the Town of Fairfax.[3]

The Town of Fairfax is experiencing financial woes because its employee pension costs rose in 2010. The cost of paying health insurance premiums for town employees also increased by 9%.[2]

Election results

Measure D
Approveda Yes 1,568 65.42%
Election results are from the Marin County elections office.


Measure D supporters included:

  • The five members of the Fairfax Town Council
  • The Fairfax Chamber of Commerce[2]

Matt Hartwell-Herrero, husband of town council member Pam Hartwell-Herrero, led the campaign for a "yes" vote on Measure D. He said, "We've taken across-the-board measures but we still have this gap, and it's got to get closed."[2]


Measure D was opposed by a "No on D" coalition and the "Committee to Oppose Measure D - 2011."[4]

Opponents included:

  • Bill Parker. He said the Fairfax Town Council has a history of underestimating future revenues. Reports of town auditors indicated that from fiscal year 2005 through fiscal year 2010, the council underestimated town revenue by $2.79 million and underestimated expenditures by $909,000. Parker said, "The $1.8 million difference [in estimated income versus estimated expenditures] is more than the value of Measure F."[2]
  • Susan Brandborg, a 19-year former member of the Fairfax Town Council: "I just don't feel they're paying attention to the town's fiscal issues as I feel they should."[2]
  • The "Committee to Oppose Measure D - 2011," argued that some statements in support of the measure are false. The committee argues that payroll is not 80% of budgeted expenditures[5]; the town did not lose revenue to the State of California[6]; the flood was paid for by FEMA, OES, and insurance[7]; overall departmental spending is 24% higher than in 2005[8]; and revenues have increased and not decreased.[9][10] Opponents also argue that the current financial situation is entirely due to the fact that town officials have spent a $2.719 million budget surplus.[11]
    • According to the committee website, opponents include: Bill Parker, John Molloy, former Mayor Susan Brandborg, and Jory Prum.[12]

Ballot text

The question on the ballot:

MEASURE D: To offset declining property tax revenues and severe state budget cuts and to prevent further cuts to general Town services, shall an ordinance be adopted to enact a one-half cent transaction and use tax in the Town of Fairfax, subject to annual independent audits, public expenditure reports, local use of all funds, and expiration on March 31, 2017?[13]

See also

External links


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