Sales-tax increase pitched as perk for parks

A measure that would bolster the Peninsula’s parks while making San Mateo County’s sales tax among the highest in the Bay Area may come before voters as early as June.

Proponents of Parks for the Future — a one-eighth-cent sales tax that failedin November 2006 — kicked off a campaign this week to bring the measure back to the ballot.

Measure A, as it was known in 2006, would secure more than $16 million per year to fund county parks, as well as parks in each city, the Ladera and Highland Recreation Districts and the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District. It would also require city and county parks departments to maintain existing funding to take advantage of new monies.

For the average San Mateo County resident, the tax would cost about $18 a year, said Julia Bott, the executive director of the San Mateo County Parks and Recreation Department Foundation.

Bott said backers of the measure aren’t certain whether they’ll aim for the June or November election, or even wait until 2009. The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors must approve the measure for the ballot by early March. The matter has been tentatively set for review at their Feb. 12 meeting.

Bott estimated that volunteers would need to raise $500,000 to pass the tax, which would raise the county’s sales tax from 8.25 percent to 8.375 percent. If approved by a two-thirds majority, the new tax would bring San Mateo County’s sales-tax rate to the third highest of the nine Bay Area counties, behind Alameda and San Francisco.

The measure may be a tough sell, particularly after only two years, said political consultant David Latterman. A two-thirds vote is tough to secure even when the economy is good, and people generally prefer bonds to taxes, he said.

“People love parks and when you ask them if they’re going to support parks, of course they’re going to say yes. But if it costs them money, that changes everything,” he said. “If there’s not a real groundswell of support for parks, this measure is not going to do much better than it did in 2006.”

tbarak@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocalneighborhoods

Just Posted

California Highway Patrol officers watch as Caltrans workers remove barricades from homeless camp sites as residents are forced to relocate from a parking lot underneath Interstate 80 on Monday, May 17, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
San Francisco’s broken promise to resolve homeless encampments

‘There is an idea that The City is leading with services, and they are not’

The Department of Building Inspection, at 49 South Van Ness Ave., has been mired in scandal since since its creation by voter referendum under Proposition G in 1994. (Courtesy SF.gov)
The Department of Building Inspection, at 49 South Van Ness Ave., has been mired in scandal since its creation by voter referendum under Proposition G in 1994. (Courtesy SF.gov)
Whistleblowing hasn’t worked at San Francisco’s Department of Building Inspection

DBI inspectors say their boss kept them off connected builders’ projects

FILE — Mort Sahl on Nov. 10, 1967. Sahl, who confronted Eisenhower-era cultural complacency with acid stage monologues, delivering biting social commentary in the guise of a stand-up comedian and thus changing the nature of both stand-up comedy and social commentary, died on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021, at his home in Mill Valley, Calif., near San Francisco. He was 94. (Don Hogan Charles/The New York Times)
Legendary local comedian dies at 94

By Bruce Weber NYTimes News Service Mort Sahl, who confronted Eisenhower-era cultural… Continue reading

Sharon Van Etten (left) reached out to Angel Olsen about working on a song and they ended up releasing “Like I Used To,” which may be performed at Outside Lands. (Photo by Dana Trippe)
Performers’ emotions are high as Outside Lands returns to San Francisco

Festival features Sharon Van Etten and Boy Scouts alongside The Strokes, Lizzo and Tame Impala

Most Read