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

Tax increase broached at Mar. 20 parking meeting by Half Moon Bay City councilmembers as strategy to generate revenue.

After widespread public opposition to the proposal for downtown paid parking, city councilmembers decided in the short-term at a March 20 meeting.

Instead, several members for three years as an alternative way to generate revenue to residents and merchants.

The hike would increase Half Moon Bay's sales tax from 8.25 percent to 8.75 percent.

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

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John Traversaro March 22, 2012 at 10:18 PM
While a paid parking program would generate necessary revenues, the loss of charm and small town feel not to mention the ill will generated when a visitor receives a ticket, would not be a wise trade off. The money has to be generated from some source and I believe this small increase in the sales tax is the most fair way of sharing the burden to retain the charm. That's only $5.00 per person per year for every $1,000 we spend on the coastside. Who couldn't support that, especially given the alternative of having meters!
Cid March 24, 2012 at 04:03 AM
I'll shop in Pacifica if it passes.
Carol Wexler March 24, 2012 at 09:56 PM
I still don't understand why the people that live on the Coast have to pay for the economic problems and mistakes of the City. Every single one of us is having the same economic problems. We have to pay more for food, gas etc. I'm not willing to pay more taxes. In addition why give the Coastside merchants another stumbling block to making a living. Pretty soon the tunnel will open. It will be a lot easier to get to Pacifica. Cid, I might just shop there, too, if this tax passes.
George Muteff March 24, 2012 at 11:14 PM
I certainly can understand the frustration, and even the anger at the fiscal position HMB is in. I've surely said enough and written enough about it, both before our elected officials made the mistakes that got us here and after; but maybe a little logic might help here. Cid and Carol both comment. Cid, with shopping in Pacifica. Now Cid, are you making a statement? or are you trying to save money? Maybe both, I don't know; but I feel fairly comfortable in saying that the pennies, literally pennies that you might save if this proposed sales tax raise gets started (which it wii) and passed will probably not cover the additional cost of traveling further for goods and services. In other words, if you were to save 50 cents in sales tax, would that cover the addition $2.00 in gas? I'd ask the same of Carol.
George Muteff March 24, 2012 at 11:14 PM
Now to Carol, who says in part: "...why give the Coastside merchants another stumbling block..." The doomed one cent increase for seven year proposal fit this comment. Since then, one tax has been eliminated, dropping HMB's sales tax to 8.25%. A one half cent rise in sales tax would only put us back where we were at 8.75%. I don't see that as a "stumbling block". Meters, the Main Street Bridge removal and replacement, the failure of the Downtown Merchants Association and perhaps a plethora of misguided decisions from the Council would all most certainly fill the "stumbling block" theory, but a 1/2 cent rise in sales tax for three years? No, I don't see it that way. Who enjoys paying more for anything? Nobody. Are we all pleased with the leadership we've seen in HMB over the last 15 years? Not a bit. But, it is what it is and we are where we are. Pissing and moaning won't solve anything. If I were to question the gonna be proposed 1/2 sales tax increase for three years, and you can bet that I will, it will not be the insignificant amount of increase or the timeframe of that increase. It will most assuredly be centered around accountability and spending. We've seen very little of the prior and way more than too much of the later for my tastes.
Carol Wexler March 31, 2012 at 07:14 PM
George, thank you for your comments. You are correct. My frustration was showing. I think that the citie's use of the funds and accountability are probably more in line with my concerns. Is there even a plan in place for the use of these funds? Not that this would insure where the money would go.
George Muteff March 31, 2012 at 08:32 PM
Thank you Carol for the insightful comments. To answer your question to a plan: good question. Unfortunately, we don't have an answer - Yet; but we will and we will and we will Prior to the ballot measure one way or another. I have shared my concerns with some of those that will shape this measure. It is my opinion that those I spoke with, although they may not have liked my input, understood. Time will tell. What I might suggest is that we keep an eye and ear open on this. It will most certainly move forward. It is incumbent on us, the voters, to follow this and help shape it. To me, the issues are accountability, transparency and results. If we help shape this, it can be seamless and beneficial to the City, which is us of course. If we don't participate in the shaping of the measure, then we have only ourselves to blame if we don't like the results. I will be an active participant in trying to shape this soon to be proposed measure. You can bet that I will be posting here and elsewhere, and speaking at the meetings (when appropriate) that will shape this. To me, this is more than about a 1/2 cent sales tax increase. This is about recognition, trust, accountability and like I said before - results. The increase will generate approximately $650K per year for the term (3 years). That is approximately 6.5% of our current budget, each year. It is worth watching and most assuredly worth public participation.

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