San Mateo County Commercial Parking Lot Tax, Measure X (June 2012)

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A San Mateo County Commercial Parking Lot Tax ballot question was on the June 5, 2012 ballot for voters in San Mateo County, where it was defeated.[1]

If the new tax had been approved, companies that operate commercial parking lots in unincorporated areas of the county would have had to pay 8% of their gross receipts to the county. This included valet parking at restaurants and hotels, and at San Francisco International Airport (SFO).[2]

The commercial parking lot gross receipts tax was on the ballot with two other tax increase proposals, Measure U, a hotel tax increase (which was defeated) and Measure T, a car rental tax increase, which was approved. If all three tax increases had been approved by voters, they would have resulted in $13 million a year in additional revenue to the county.[1] Measure T, the only one to be approved, will result in about $8 million a year to the county.[3]

Voters defeated a similar proposal, Measure Q, on November 4, 2008.

Election results

Measure X
Defeatedd No60,67953.1%
Yes 53,616 46.9%
These final election results are from the San Mateo County elections office.


Adrienne Tissier, president of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, supported the new tax. She said it would have no impact on the number of tourists who choose to come to the area: "We've got 40 million people who come through that airport annually. I find it hard to believe, being the destination that we are, that it will have any impact at all."[4]

Measure X was also supported by:

  • Carole Groom, member of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors
  • Ann Campbell, Superintendent of the San Mateo County School District[5]

A group called "San Mateo County Forward" also supported Measure X, and the other two tax hike measures on the June 5, 2012 ballot. David Pine, a representative of the group, said, "These revenues are critical to avoiding future cuts that will harm people in our community."[6]


John Ballesteros, the vice president of public policy for the San Francisco Travel Association, argued against the tax, and two other tax increase measures on the June 5, 2012 ballot, saying, "These measures before you will undoubtedly have a negative impact to attracting visitors, creating an opportunity cost in terms of lost jobs to the region."[1]

The U.S. Travel Association conducted a nationwide survey of 366 convention, trade show and meeting industry professionals. They were asked whether Measure X would have an impact on whether they would plan to have a meeting in San Mateo County. According to this research, 40% of those surveyed would would either "definitely" search for a new meeting destination or would "reconsider" holding a meeting or event in the county. 58% of those surveyed also said that it is their belief that the Bay Area's taxes on visitors are among the highest in the nation and are second only to New York City's.[4]

Ballot text

The question on the ballot:

MEASURE X: "Shall Chapter 5.152 be added to the San Mateo County Ordinance Code, imposing a business license tax of eight percent of gross receipts on operators of commerical parking facilities located in the unincorporated area of San Mateo County?"[7]

Cost of election

See also: Costs of administering local elections

The cost to San Mateo County of holding the election on the hotel tax increase, and two other tax increase measures, was about $280,000.[2]

See also

External links

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