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POLL: Would you support a half-cent sales tax increase for three years in Half Moon Bay?

The Half Moon Bay City Council approves a half-cent sales tax increase on the November ballot.

The Half Moon Bay City Council voted 4-1 Tuesday night to present a half-cent sales tax increase on the November ballot, the Half Moon Bay Review reported Wednesday.

City leaders say the measure would provide an estimated $867,000 annually for three years and is necessary to fund infrastructure improvements not currently covered in the operational budget.

“I enthusiastically support the measure for three primary reasons," said City Council member Rick Kowalczyk. "We cut first. We looked for, identified, and secured savings of about $1 million per year. Our city is now operating efficiently, but we also find ourselves with very limited ability to pay for virtually any major projects or capital items."

Other reasons for his support include a commitment to promoting Half Moon Bay businesses and tourism: "My support for the measure is completely contingent upon using the new revenue to help drive even more additional revenue through greater business activity and increased tourism," he said.

The additional revenue from the sales will also help "anticipated significant community needs," said Kowalczyk, such as replacing the Main Street Bridge, maintaining city streets, and continuing to support and improve the library, and enhancing Smith Field.

The sales tax would bring the sales tax rate in the city to 8.75 percent and would go into effect shortly after the vote, though the first payment wouldn’t come until July 2013. The measure requires only a simple majority to pass.

This is your chance to weigh in on the issue if you haven't already voted in this poll that we on March 21, 2012, after Half Moon Bay City councilmembers at a parking meeting broached the tax increase measure as a strategy to generate revenue.

How will you vote in November when the half-cent sales tax increase shows up on the ballot?

Tell us (by voting in the poll below) if you would vote for a such a sales tax ballot measure.

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George Muteff June 22, 2012 at 07:23 PM
As your poll demonstrates, folks are relatively evenly split on this issue; perhaps for good cause. Mr Kowalczyk presents a few strong arguments in support of the upcoming measure. Others present equally strong arguments against the upcoming measure. Myself? I could present strong arguments for either side. I know the City needs money; we all know that. But why? How did we get to this point? That, I'm afraid, is the rub -- and rightfully so. There are many very solid reasons to oppose any new revenues to the City, based on past performance by the City. HMB's political woes approach legendary status and the cost of those woes has been overwhelming. But, does that lessen the need for money ... for more money? Past horrendous and just plain bad or foolish decisions and expenditures don't negate the current needs. At some point, we (the public paying their bills) need to scrutinize our needs, prioritize them and take action to eliminate them one by one. That elimination process will require money ... lots of money. The next point would logically be how much will it cost us, the residents. This proposed sales tax increase is, IMHO, the least expensive to us with the best potential return. The real issue here, as I see it, is trust. Do we &/or can we trust our elected representatives to do the right thing? When all is said and done, the cost to the vast majority of us will range from $5 - $20 per year. That, to me, is worth the cost of admission to see.

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