Alameda County Healthcare Services Sales Tax, Measure AA (June 2014)

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An Alameda County Healthcare Services Sales Tax, Measure AA ballot question was on the June 3, 2014 election ballot for voters in Alameda County, California, where it was approved.

This sales tax increase was originally approved by 71 percent of voters in March of 2004 as Measure A. Even though the 2004 tax was not to expire until 2019, county officials put forward Measure AA. The measure renewed the same 0.5% sales tax increase until 2034. As of 2014, this tax had generated approximately $100 million per year in revenue and, with the measure's approval, is expected to continue to provide this revenue in future years. The tax revenue was earmarked for improving healthcare services in the county. The revenue was designed to be divided, with 75 percent automatically given to the Alameda County Medical Center and the remaining 25 percent allocated to healthcare service providers by the Alameda County Board of Supervisors based on need and merit.[1][2]

A 2/3rds supermajority vote was required for the approval of Measure AA.

Election results

Measure AA
Approveda Yes 148,001 75.01%
Election results from Alameda County Elections Office

Text of measure

Ballot question

The question on the ballot:[3]

Healthcare Safety Net Reauthorization

Without increasing the existing half-cent sales and use tax for essential health services, to provide trauma and emergency medical services and primary, preventative healthcare for local residents including indigent, low-income and uninsured children, families and seniors, to prevent closure of county clinics and hospitals and to recruit/retain highly qualified nurses and healthcare professionals, shall Alameda County extend the essential healthcare services measure until June 2034 with annual fiscal oversight/review?

YES/NO [4]

Full text

The full text of the ordinance enacted by Measure AA is available here.



The following individuals signed the official arguments in favor of Measure AA:[3]

  • Bertram Lubin, M.D., president & CEO of Children’s Hospital of Oakland 
  • Tricia Muñoz, registered nurse at St. Rose Hospital 
  • Garrett Contreras, Fire Chief of the City of Hayward 
  • Tim Sbranti, Dublin Mayor and teacher 
  • Barbara Price, president of Alameda County Taxpayers Association

Arguments in favor

Official arguments

The following was submitted as the official argument in favor of Measure AA:[3]

Healthcare Safety Net Reauthorization

Measure AA does not increase tax rates. Measure AA merely reauthorizes and extends Alameda County’s existing ½¢ sales tax. Measure AA funds critical health services to Alameda County residents.

Without Measure AA, county clinics serving over 100,000 low-income children and families will be at risk of closure, trauma and emergency services throughout the county will be reduced, psychiatric and mental health services will be cut.

Measure AA not only provides safety net medical care for residents of the county, including trauma and emergency medical services, it also provides primary and mental health services to families and seniors.

Passage of Measure AA will ensure that all Alameda County residents have access to quality healthcare.

Specifically, Measure A will help maintain or keep open:

  • Trauma and emergency services throughout Alameda County
  • Pediatric emergency services at Children’s Hospital
  • Essential primary care, preventative care and mental health services
  • Basic primary care for underprivileged and uninsured children and families
  • Retain qualified and experienced nurses and healthcare professionals
  • Pre-natal and family planning services to low-income women
  • Local hospitals and clinics

Measure AA will keep local hospitals open and will provide accessible and affordable primary and preventative care to treat patients before their illnesses become more serious and the cost of treament more expensive.

Measure AA is a frugal and carefully crafted plan to address the most essential healthcare needs of Alameda County residents. Measure AA has been called the most important local healthcare measure in the state.

Measure AA is supported by every medical association and hospital in the county as well as doctors, nurses, the Alameda County Taxpayers Association, all five Alameda County Supervisors, business leaders, seniors and other residents of Alameda County.

Please vote yes on Measure AA. [4]

—Bertram Lubin, Tricia Muñoz, Garrett Contreras, Tim Sbranti and Barbara Price, [3]



David E. Mix, Chairman of the committee Neighbors For a More Responsible Government, signed the official arguments against Measure AA.[3]

Arguments against

Official arguments

The following was submitted as the official argument against Measure AA:[3]

Here we go again folks - another TAX. This time a "Sale Tax" of 1/2%. This is the worst kind of tax out there. IT is extremely regressive flat tax, hurting the low income and senior citizens the most. Unarguably, it hit's the "poor" and the people most in need. The proponents falsely claim it benefit's the underprivileged children and families - Not true!. More often they are socked with outrageous medical bill[s] they are unable to pay.

The proponents also claim the Tax doesn't increase the present amount and is merely an extension. Who are they kidding - of course in increases. It is a fixed percentage of what you spend, as the cost of living steadily increases, you are forced to pay more and more just to survive. As the price of purchases go up - so does the Tax amount you truly pay. The $100 purchase you made fifteen years ago is now $200, requiring you to pay twice the Tax amount.

It is clearly another broken promise. In 2004 they argued it was only "temporary" - to fix the budget and avoid drastic cuts. Oh sure! Did you ever see a temporary Tax or a public entity able to balance its budget without claiming the "sky is falling" and repeatedly coming back to the public Tax trough.

They claim there is truly a dire need - of course there is. The "needs" are always dire, public safety, crime prevention, fire protection, deteriorating roads and bridges, earthquakes, public buildings, etc. etc. Clearly no argument there!

However, where does the money really go? This area's major newspaper recently reported the highest salaries in the County as going to public health administrators and the so-called non profits

Curb runaway spending - Vote No! on Measure AA. [4]

—David E. Mix, Chairman of the committee Neighbors For a More Responsible Government, [3]


A telephone poll conducted by Oakland-based EMC Research in 2013 suggested that about 70 percent of likely county voters would approve Measure AA, with another 6 percent leaning toward support. The EMC report on the poll stated, "Support for Measure A renewal exists, but passage will require a vigorous and well-funded campaign. Public debate and controversy about Measure A will negatively affect public support."[2]

See also

External links

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