The days of a lower sales tax are long gone.
On Monday, April 1, the base sales tax in San Mateo County goes up half a cent, as a result of the voter-approved Measure A, which appeared on the November 2012 ballot.
The sales tax will rise from 8.5 percent to 9 percent in all cities and in the unincorporated areas, except in the cities of San Mateo and Half Moon Bay. As a result of voter-approved sales taxes in those cities, the sales tax will be 9.5 percent in Half Moon Bay and 9.25 percent in the city of San Mateo.
Measure A was placed on the November 2012 ballot by the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors. The tax, which "sunsets" after 10 years, is expected to raise approximately $60 million per year for "general fund purposes."
Much contention has brewed across the county in the past few months over how, exactly, the supervisors will spend the anticipated $60 million per year.
Some are upset that it seems Measure A since the county has already voted to spend anywhere from $145 to 160 million to build a new county jail in Redwood City — which is also expected to cost $30 million per year to operate once it's up and running.
Other ideas the supervisors have tossed around in their last few meetings include mental health intervention services, upgraded library programs, public art projects, a bicycle program coordinator, restoring an independent county parks department, and school safety.
Recently, the county solicited feedback from residents on how they think the Measure A funds should be spent.
Read the ballot statement and full text of Measure A here.
For a full listing of sales and use tax rates effective April 1 by county or city, visit the State Board of Equalization.
What do you think the Measure A funds should be spent on? Tell us in the comments below.
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